By Jonathan Davies

Spotify has been valued at $8.53 billion (£5.53bn), just two days after Apple launched a rival music streaming service.

It comes after the Stockholm-based streaming giant completed a $526m (£341m) funding round, meaning it has now raised more than $1bn through equity funding.

Spotify has now more than 60 million global users, 15 million of whom pay subscription fees, and accounted for half of global streaming subscriptions in 2014.

But it is facing growing competition. Last year, pop star Taylor Swift removed her music from Spotify over compensation for artists. Months later, Jay Z launched his own streaming service, Tidal, which received backing from a number of high profile artists.

And now Apple is to launch Apple Music, a $9.99 a month music and music video streaming, download and internet radio service.