Spotify to up staff numbers by a third

Spotify, the world’s largest online music streaming service, plans to boost its staff numbers by a third, its co-founder and chief executive said Tuesday amid increasing competition from other technology companies.

“We are 1,500 and we are recruiting another 500, up to 2,000 people,” Martin Lorenzon told reporters at a trade fair in Helsinki.

He did not specify when the new hires would join the company.

The Swedish-based pioneer of online music streaming announced its expansion amid mounting competition, notably from a newly launched advert-free music video service from YouTube, part of Google’s online empire.

Sony Music has also indicated that it is looking at expanding paid subscriptions to its online music service.

“Everyone loves music, so if you have a product which everyone loves of course there will be competitors…. Competition is also good. Then I have to run faster,” said Lorenzon.

Spotify hit world headlines two weeks ago when US pop star Taylor Swift pulled her music off the service calling it “an experiment that I don’t feel fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists and creators” in an interview with Yahoo Music.

Spotify last week responded by stressing that it had paid $2 billion to artists and songwriters since its 2008 launch.

It also said it had 50 million subscribers – including 12.5 million who pay for ad-free listening – an increase of 10 million since May.

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Spotify to up staff numbers by a third