At two events running concurrently in New York and London today, Spotify is gearing up to announce some pretty significant new updates to its music-streaming platform.

But before that, they announced some interesting stats, including more than 5m paid subscribers globally, one million of whom are in the US…and 20m total active users.

But interestingly, Spotify announced this…it has now paid half-a-billion dollars out to artists, having almost doubled up in the last 9 months.

Spotify has been working hard to push its members over from the free ad-based service into fully-fledged subscribers, and it’s interesting to note that a quarter of its global subscription-base now opt to pay, which likely bodes well for the future of the platform.

Co-founder Daniel Ek now says that Spotify has paid out half-a-billion dollars in payments to rights-holders, around $250m of which has been in the past nine months, and it will be interesting to see how this number grows as its paid-subscription base grows.

Meanwhile, you may wish to check out our previous piece on the royalty squeeze, and why Spotify booked a $59m net loss on $244m in revenue in 2011.