Apple Music reportedly leads Spotify, Pandora in unique monthly users

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited March 29
According to fresh market research data, Apple Music's three-month free trial helped push the service ahead of competitors Spotify and Pandora in terms of unique monthly users for the month of February.




In a report issued on Wednesday, market research firm Verto saw Apple Music amass 40.7 million monthly unique users in the U.S. last month, well above the 36.2 million users seen by second place Pandora. Subscription based streaming music service leader Spotify took the No. 3 spot with 30.4 million unique users over the same period, while iHeartRadio and SoundCloud placed fourth and fifth with a respective 28.5 million and 25.7 million listeners.

Due to its methodology, which tracks 20,000 users in the U.S. and UK via an app -- Verto only accounted for Apple Music's mobile users, split between 36.9 million on smartphones and 7.7 million on tablets. Considering Apple Music is available on Mac and PC, the number of total users is likely much higher than the report's 40.7 million user claim.

That said, data suggests the smartphone is by far the most preferred platform for consuming digital music. A breakdown of user listening sessions shows smartphones' collective share ranges from 46 percent in the wee hours of the morning to a peak of 78 percent at 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. By contrast, tablet listening sessions range from 5 percent to 21 percent over the course of a day.

Verto's global content marketing director Connie Hwong said Apple Music's success is in large part due to Apple's three-month free trial offer, reports TechCrunch. The demo period more than doubles the number of people using Apple Music on mobile, placing it far ahead of free-to-stream and hybrid premium products.

While Apple Music leads in total uniques, Spotify dominates in the field in average listening sessions. For February, Spotify averaged 51 sessions per user, more than four times that of Apple Music's 12 listening sessions per month. Pandora landed between the two with 23 sessions per month per user.

With high listening session metrics, Spotify managed a "stickiness" rating, which compares daily users against monthly users, of 25 percent compared to Apple's 19 percent. The metric is in line with Verto's assertion that Apple Music's numbers are goosed by trial users. Since the free-to-try service is opt-in, users can always jump ship after the three-month period is over, generating significant churn.

Apple last revealed Apple Music subscriber numbers in December, saying at the time that its streaming product had garnered 20 million active users. The company's official figures seem to fly in the face of today's published market research, as last year saw a slow climb for Apple Music's user base.

In April 2016, the service was at 13 million users, a number that grew to 15 million in June and 17 million in September. Drawing the trend out through to March 2017, normal growth rates would imply a base of 22 to 23 million users worldwide.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 3,206member
    Apple music owners actually bought their subscription instead of receiving it like a freebie, that alone makes all the difference.
    The fact music is getting more and more weight inside Apple's ecosystem again (shaded of Ipod day) makes all the difference.
    calilolliverJinTechwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 19
    calicali Posts: 2,964member
    I wonder what the Music subscriber numbers are post Christmas? With iPhone 7 breaking records I wouldn't be surprised if that number is up a few million.

    OR maybe the number will shoot up after March(3-month trials ending). 
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 19
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 3,206member
    Trendlines are not linear, when the weight of users is high enough, the network effect takes hold and use shoots up.
    Get the feeling that by the end of the year, Apple will be near 40M users, that would be 5B dollars in revenues a year coming just from Music.
    Would not be surprised if they hit 100M within 3 years.
  • Reply 4 of 19
    bitmodbitmod Posts: 94member
    Obvious flawed data.
    Zero mention of how data was collected.

    This company seems awfully dubious as well - website is full of stock photos on a wordpress theme. Hardly representative of a company who's data I would trust... if this is a real company in the first place.
    The 4 locations of their operations around the world show zero proof they exist. Zero proof anywhere they actually exist outside of their own content.

    I'm going to say it's a paid advertisement. Lots of these sites going up these days.
    Kind of like the movie Simone with Al Pacino.

    Anyways, in the real world... nobody knows anyone who actually subscribes to iTunes outside of free trials.
    Everyone knows a few people on Spotify.

     

  • Reply 5 of 19
    SoliSoli Posts: 2,817member
    foggyhill said:
    Apple music owners actually bought their subscription instead of receiving it like a freebie, that alone makes all the difference.
    The fact music is getting more and more weight inside Apple's ecosystem again (shaded of Ipod day) makes all the difference.
    Are we sure about that? Thy offered 6 mobbed for free when it launched, and now every BeatsX purchase comes with 3 free months.
  • Reply 6 of 19
    lolliverlolliver Posts: 256member
    bitmod said:
    Anyways, in the real world... nobody knows anyone who actually subscribes to iTunes outside of free trials.
    Everyone knows a few people on Spotify. 

     

    I know a few people who use the free tier of Spotify. I don't know anyone that actually pays for a subscription but that doesn't mean anything data wise. Just because I don't personally know anyone is irrelevant as that's not a large enough sample size.

    Just like the fact I know several people with Apple Music subscriptions (btw you can't actually "subscribe to iTunes") doesn't mean Apple Music is more popular than Spotify. Not sure why you would state that "nobody knows anyone who subscribes to iTunes" as it just makes you look foolish.

    This data may or may not be flawed but if you were conducting the research it sure would be.
    Soliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 19
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 3,206member
    Soli said:
    foggyhill said:
    Apple music owners actually bought their subscription instead of receiving it like a freebie, that alone makes all the difference.
    The fact music is getting more and more weight inside Apple's ecosystem again (shaded of Ipod day) makes all the difference.
    Are we sure about that? Thy offered 6 mobbed for free when it launched, and now every BeatsX purchase comes with 3 free months.
    Apple talks about paid users, those that aren't free subscribers (at least they did in first few earning calls about this).
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 19
    SoliSoli Posts: 2,817member
    foggyhill said:
    Soli said:
    foggyhill said:
    Apple music owners actually bought their subscription instead of receiving it like a freebie, that alone makes all the difference.
    The fact music is getting more and more weight inside Apple's ecosystem again (shaded of Ipod day) makes all the difference.
    Are we sure about that? Thy offered 6 mobbed for free when it launched, and now every BeatsX purchase comes with 3 free months.
    Apple talks about paid users, those that aren't free subscribers (at least they did in first few earning calls about this).
    1) Understod, but is analytics company doing the same?

    2) Isn't 3 months credit, which uploads to your iTS account as account credit, effectively showing up on Apple's books as "paid" when it's used for Apple
    Music (or anything else)? Sure, they have to write of that value elsewhere so the books balance, but I think it would still show up as a paid Apple Music account when iTS credit is used to make the purchase. It might even be why they did it that way.
  • Reply 9 of 19
    irelandireland Posts: 16,530member
    I also am highly skeptical of this data. I know literally no one who uses AM. Not that it's not a decent service, just that the Spotify free service has obvious advantages in the marketplace for teenagers. It is sad for the industry though maybe. Also sad that artists no longer get an opportunity to write albums like back in the day. Music has gone to shit for the most part.
    edited March 29
  • Reply 10 of 19
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 3,206member
    From my decidedly dodgy memory, seems they explicitely talked about people having kept their subscription AFTER the 3 months (like I said in the first few earning calls, not sure about the december one). Depends how much actual "credit" its worth in Apple revenues and how it figures in as a marketing expense. There are different creative accounting and marketing ways of considering those users. Apple does tend to be pretty conservative in those kind of things.


    lolliver
  • Reply 11 of 19
    bitmod said:
    Obvious flawed data.
    Zero mention of how data was collected.

    This company seems awfully dubious as well - website is full of stock photos on a wordpress theme. Hardly representative of a company who's data I would trust... if this is a real company in the first place.
    The 4 locations of their operations around the world show zero proof they exist. Zero proof anywhere they actually exist outside of their own content.

    I'm going to say it's a paid advertisement. Lots of these sites going up these days.
    Kind of like the movie Simone with Al Pacino.

    Anyways, in the real world... nobody knows anyone who actually subscribes to iTunes outside of free trials.
    Everyone knows a few people on Spotify.

     


    It's flawed to you only because it says something positive about Apple Music. Your "audiophile" mind can't get around that.

    AI Staffers have always maintained that they do not do paid ads, at least without flagging it as such. I see no reason not to believe them.

    What are you doing here anyway?

    Soliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 19
    adm1adm1 Posts: 323member
    Where is Deezer in that list? They (at last count) have 16m "paying" subscribers across 182 countries. Shazam? Isn't that just for finding out the name of a song - then it offers to "play in apple music, play in spotify, play in deezer" etc. How is it even on the list? :neutral:  and mixing in radio services with streaming isn't right either.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 19
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 263member
    browsing articles online show Pandora has over 80 million active users (i know this article was for a specific month only, but goes to show the false reporting of numbers). who knows what to believe.....
    https://www.statista.com/statistics/190989/active-users-of-music-streaming-service-pandora-since-2009/
  • Reply 14 of 19
    sog35sog35 Posts: 12,367member
    This proves that Pandora and Spotify have been publishing bull crap paid user numbers for YEARS.

    What a scam.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 19
    sog35sog35 Posts: 12,367member
    foggyhill said:
    Apple music owners actually bought their subscription instead of receiving it like a freebie, that alone makes all the difference.
    The fact music is getting more and more weight inside Apple's ecosystem again (shaded of Ipod day) makes all the difference.
    Exactly.

    Spotify and Pandora are constantly giving away free subscriptions and counting them as 'paid' subscribers.

    Free Spotify if you buy this pie.
    Free Spotify if you join this bank.
    Free Spotify if you give us your data. Ridiculous.

    The proof is in the pudding. Both Spotify and Pandora are bleeding cash and losing money for a decade. They they really had the clamined tens of millions of paid users they would be making massive profits.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 19
    Anecdotally, in my own little bubble, most people use Spotify. A few old timers at work still stream Pandora at the office. But I generally think of Spotify now as the "Kleenex" or "Xerox" or "Google" in terms of brand name ubiquity and usage. Want to play some music? Just put on the Spotify. I was at a town meeting recently and there was talk of an event coming up where they wanted to play music for attendees, and one guy suggested we could play some Apple Music from some speakers. It struck me as sounding very odd, since I'd never heard that before. Then I noticed his new Apple Watch, iPhone 7, new Macbook Pro all with him at the table. Figure he's an Apple guy. So still, anecdotally for me, the only person I've ever heard even mention Apple Music is some guy decked out in all the latest Apple gear.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 19
    schlackschlack Posts: 593member
    All these services are offering free trials. Got 3 months on Apple Music for free, 3 months on Google Music for free, and now 4 months on Tidal (which I'm going through right now). So far my favorite is Google Music.
  • Reply 18 of 19
    sog35 said:
    This proves that Pandora and Spotify have been publishing bull crap paid user numbers for YEARS.

    What a scam.
    Or maybe Spotify's numbers prove that Verto is publishing bull?
  • Reply 19 of 19
    bitmodbitmod Posts: 94member

    It's flawed to you only because it says something positive about Apple Music. Your "audiophile" mind can't get around that.

    AI Staffers have always maintained that they do not do paid ads, at least without flagging it as such. I see no reason not to believe them.

    What are you doing here anyway?

    Im not saying AI even knows this is an ad. It looks like a fake company and the data makes no sense at all. 
    Read the part about their methodology again and try not to laugh - it makes zero sense and says nothing. 20,000 from an App in the UK??? 
    What App? And who downloaded this app? An app as in from the Apple App store? Either way, It's reverse data collection and total BS. Unless the data came from the actual companies it's garbage biased data. And who uses a 3rd party app and goes to multiple music streaming services? Unless its Bluesound, in which case why is Tidal not listed? It makes zero sense. 

    This is nothing more than a stock manipulation ad-ruse. The real story is if Apple had their hand in it.

    Not sure where you are coming from? Been here since the beginning - not part of the iPhone stock junkies that showed up as militant Apple supporters at all cost. (Looking at you Sog).

    I used itunes since the day it rolled out. Loved it up until I started streaming.  I've tried all Apple's attempts at streaming, and AM is fine if you're into listening to top40 on crappy earbuds. But it doesn't hold a candle to Spotify. And only in SOG's dreams does this fake data make sense at all. 

    Keep'n it real man. 

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