Taylor Swift does not what her work to be used as an 'experiment' by Spotify / Getty Images

Company has been criticised for undervaluing artists' work by letting people listen to it for free

Spotify reached 15 million paid subscribers in 2014, it has said, after high-profile criticism of it and other services for letting people listen to music for free.

It has 60 million active users in total, according to a short blog post released today.

The company released a celebratory playlist to mark the announcement.

The success is despite Spotify’s increasing tensions with some artists. Most prominently, Taylor Swift left Spotify in November, saying that Spotify was a “grand experiment”.

At the time of that fallout, Spotify said that it had 12.5 million paying listeners. In May, it said it had 10 million paying listeners and 40 million active users.

“I’m not willing to contribute my life's work to an experiment that I don't feel fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists and creators of this music," she told Yahoo News shortly after she left. Spotify created a special playlist in an attempt to win her back.

That was one of a number of criticisms made by artists who felt that Spotify giving away music for free devalued their work. Spotify has also been said to pay too little to artists.

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