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Spotify's total number of monthly listeners climbed 19% to 381 million in the third quarter, the global music streaming service said Wednesday. Earlier, the COVID-19 pandemic had caused lumpy growth as people's interest in listening to music on the go was disrupted when they couldn't really go anywhere, but CEO Daniel Ek said Wednesday that signs point to those inconsistencies being "largely behind us." 

Angela Lang/CNET © Angela Lang/CNET Angela Lang/CNET

The company continues to expect between 400 million and 407 million listeners who tune in at least once a month by the end of the year. 

But in the latest period, Spotify's paid members -- which excludes all the people who listen free with advertising -- rose 19% to 172 million, in the midpoint of Spotify's July guidance. Spotify makes more money from its paying subscribers than the ones who listen free with ads. 

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

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