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Spotify hits 70 million paying subscribers

In a tweet punctuated with a clapping-hands emoji, Spotify said the number of paying members rose by 10 million in less than half a year.

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Rapper Wiz Khalifa performs at Spotify's Best New Artist Nominees celebration.

Getty Images

Spotify reached 70 million paying subscribers, the music-streaming company tweeted Thursday, indicating it had added a net 10 million members in about five months.

The swelling membership suggests Spotify, which passed the 60 million mark at the end of July, is successfully preserving its wide lead over Apple Music, its next-closest rival. Apple said its service had "well over 30 million ­paying ­subscribers" in September. 

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The combined growth reflects a larger shift in the way we pay for music. Rather than buying music outright, like we did in the era of CDs and digital downloads, we're now paying flat fees for all-you-can-access tunes. 

Spotify and Apple Music have emerged as the early leaders. Spotify enjoys a price advantage thanks to its free, ad-supported tier -- something most rivals lack -- while Apple Music has leaned on heavy marketing and exclusives for hit albums to lure members. 

Thursday's update indicates that Spotify's membership additions seem to be holding at a pretty steady clip. Membership jumped from 50 million paying accounts to 60 million in about five months, after rising from 40 million to 50 million in about the same amount of time. 

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Spotify added a net 10 million  members in about five months.

Screenshot by Joan E. Solsman/CNET