St. Paul Business Journal: Spotify? They were into it first

The 2.5 million people who pay for a subscription to Spotify Ltd.’s music-streaming service also are apparently generating revenue for a Minnesota-based company: Digital River Inc.

Eden Prairie-based Digital River’s world payments division processes credit-card transactions for Spotify, which entered the U.S. market earlier this year. While Spotify’s service has exploded in popularity, the Stockholm, Sweden-based company has been a Digital River customer for about four years, said Souheil Badran, senior vice president and general manager of Digital River World Payments.

“We started with them when no one had really heard of Spotify,” he said, adding that Digital River’s presence in Sweden helped the company land the account. “That’s the beauty of this business — you never know who’s going to be the next Spotify.”

Badran declined to disclose how much revenue Digital River generates through its payments business, but said the market for such services is growing 20 to 30 percent annually, and Digital River is keeping up.

Launched in 2008, Spotify now has about 10 million subscribers and raised about $100 million in venture capital this summer. The company recently announced plans to expand by incorporating applications into its service.

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