Spotify monthly active user counts are one of the most important metrics used by the music industry – radio, media, A&R and more –  to judge how hot an artist is and the size of their fan base. But how does Spotify calculate monthly active users? Is it unique listeners or total listens? Is it calendar monthly or last 30 days?

Tucked at the bottom of Spotify’s announcement that Ed Sheeran had broken yet another Spotify record by notching 69 million active monthly listeners, was the answer.

  • Spotify monthly listeners are calculated within a rolling window of 28 days.
  • “We use a rolling window of 28 days because the number of days in a calendar month can vary,” wrote Spotify Team UK. “and because people listen to music differently depending on the day of the week.
  • This means an equal number of days of the week are included — so, the same number of Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, etc.”
  • If a user plays an artist multiple times in a 28-day period, they only get counted once.