Apple Music reportedly reaches 10 million paid subscribers in 6 months

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
Apple's new Apple Music streaming service has reportedly exceeded 10 million subscribers in its first six months, a feat that took established Swedish rival Spotify six years to achieve in 2014.


Cafe Flore, San Francisco


According to a report citing unnamed sources by Matthew Garrahan and Tim Bradshaw of the Financial Times, Apple grew past 10 million less than three months after Apple officially reported having reached 6.5 million paid users in October.

The report cited music industry analyst Mark Mulligan of Midia Research as saying that Apple had "the potential to be the leading music subscription service sometime in 2017," given its rapid growth rate. However, streaming also comes at the cost of downloads.

Total album sales in the U.S. had already fallen by 9 percent in 2014, while individual track downloads had dropped by 12 percent, according to Nielsen Music, while streaming had increased by more than 50 percent.

Apple entered the music streaming subscription business with the announcemnet of Apple Music last June, a new service featuring access to Apple's extensive iTunes catalog, human-curated playlists, Beats 1 radio and iTunes Connect social networking for artists.

Apple Music went live on June 30 alongside iOS 8.4 and new iTunes software for Macs and PCs. Monthly fees start at $9.99 for single users, while a $14.99 family plan grants access for up to six people. Apple added an Android app in November.

This year, Apple is said to be developing a new Hi-Res Audio format featuring an expanded 96kHz, 24bit sampling rate for its Apple Music subscribers, leveraging the higher fidelity audio output capabilities of Lightning ports.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 53
    xbitxbit Posts: 244member
    Impressive. 
    cornchip
  • Reply 2 of 53
    I am a paid subscriber and I love it.
    Apple have ironed out a lot of the early bugs with the service and I don't really have any complaints about it anymore.

    One suggestion for any Apple staff who are reading this is to put a bit more emphasis on social sharing of playlists.  I don't personally need it (as I don't care what other people are listening to, LOL!) but friends who are still using Spotify constantly cite this as a reason for them staying with Spot.


  • Reply 3 of 53
    lostkiwi said:
    I am a paid subscriber and I love it.
    Apple have ironed out a lot of the early bugs with the service and I don't really have any complaints about it anymore.

    One suggestion for any Apple staff who are reading this is to put a bit more emphasis on social sharing of playlists.  I don't personally need it (as I don't care what other people are listening to, LOL!) but friends who are still using Spotify constantly cite this as a reason for them staying with Spot.


    Does your experience echo this sentiment?


    mr o
  • Reply 4 of 53
    Isn't lightning port only capable of outputting 48kHz @ 24 bit? If that is true then how will it leverage 96 kHz sampling rate that apple is working on?
  • Reply 5 of 53
    I expect Apple Music to follow a similar trajectory to Apple Maps: starting as the underdog with some UI problems, but continuing to improve steadily and capturing a large % of market share. Just as there will always be people who prefer Google Maps (legitimately, in some geographies), there will always be people who prefer Spotify or other streaming services. That's the beauty of a competitive marketplace.
    lostkiwigregoriusm[Deleted User]
  • Reply 6 of 53
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,439member
    Yet another Apple service declared D.O.A., epic fail, you name it, by AI techie wannabes and experts that somehow succeeded in spite of their dour declarations. Apple Music joins an exclusive club of D.O.A. or failed products and services as predicted by our resident “Apple has lost its way” crowd.

    Apple Watch
    Apple TV
    Apple Music
    iTunes
    Macbook (w/single USB-C port)
    ...
    brucemccornchiplostkiwisambirajonagoldmdriftmeyerJamesBB[Deleted User]badmonk
  • Reply 7 of 53
    SuttaDost said:
    Isn't lightning port only capable of outputting 48kHz @ 24 bit? If that is true then how will it leverage 96 kHz sampling rate that apple is working on?
    The Lightning port on the new IPad Pro and the coming iPhone 7 are compatible with USB 3.0 so it will be easy to output the higher sampling rate.

    Additionally it can output 3D music i.e. Dolby 7.1 or THX sound from compatible headphones such as from Sennheiser. 

    So the move to lightning port headphones means Apple is gunning for even higher sound standards that cannot be done using the standard headphone jack. Consumers are going to be even more pleased with the experience. And it will be a great reason to upgrade. Audiophiles will flock to the iPhone. 
    edited January 2016 cornchipgregoriusmflaneurbadmonk
  • Reply 8 of 53
    lostkiwi said:
    I am a paid subscriber and I love it.
    Apple have ironed out a lot of the early bugs with the service and I don't really have any complaints about it anymore.

    One suggestion for any Apple staff who are reading this is to put a bit more emphasis on social sharing of playlists.  I don't personally need it (as I don't care what other people are listening to, LOL!) but friends who are still using Spotify constantly cite this as a reason for them staying with Spot.


    Does your experience echo this sentiment?



    Music is actually a very complex service. Apple is combining streaming, listening to your own collection, radio, music discovery, links to buying music from the iTunes Store, and social media. It is difficult to do all of this in a simplified 6" user interface. 

    But Apple is continuously improving the service. Since it is cloud based, improvements at the server level are experienced instantaneously by everyone.

    so far once you get use to the current UI, it is not bad at all. Yes it can improve but that will be done gradually over time.
    cornchiplostkiwigregoriusmpscooter63
  • Reply 9 of 53
    At 10 million users, Apple Music is generating $1.5 BILLION a year in revenue. With iTunes Music at $4.5 BILLLION a year that means Apple generates $4.2 BILLION of the worldwide music industry's yearly revenue. This means Apple already generates 30% of the music industry's revenue. And it is growing fast!
    elijahgpianophilelostkiwi
  • Reply 10 of 53
    Thanks AI for throwing the word "reportedly" in the title. I wish Mac Rumors would to the same.
    cornchip
  • Reply 11 of 53
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,961member
    SuttaDost said:
    Isn't lightning port only capable of outputting 48kHz @ 24 bit? If that is true then how will it leverage 96 kHz sampling rate that apple is working on?

    It isn't the Lightning port itself that has the limitation, as it uses USB 2, which can easily go to 24/192. It's the converters inside that only do 24/48. But these converters only use the analog port. It's likely that this is a software situation that Apple needs to rectify.
    cornchip
  • Reply 12 of 53
    Does your experience echo this sentiment?



    Music is actually a very complex service. Apple is combining streaming, listening to your own collection, radio, music discovery, links to buying music from the iTunes Store, and social media. It is difficult to do all of this in a simplified 6" user interface. 

    But Apple is continuously improving the service. Since it is cloud based, improvements at the server level are experienced instantaneously by everyone.

    so far once you get use to the current UI, it is not bad at all. Yes it can improve but that will be done gradually over time.
    I think the app mirrors the presentation at WWDC. The presentation was a hot mess and that's what we got with the app. Honestly I wish Apple would have made a simple streaming music app that seamlessly integrated with iTunes and iTunes Match. Why doesn't the music app have a buy button that allows you to purchase a song or album either right from Apple Muisc or by redirecting you to the iTunes app? I think Apple should get rid of connect. Artists and users don't need another place to have to go to get content. Pretty much everyone is using Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Snapchat. Nobody wants to have to use another social media platform. I would get rid of the Beats radio crap too but my guess is that's not going anywhere. 
  • Reply 13 of 53
    I love it and I plan to let it roll over to paid when the trial expires.  There's so much music that I wanted but didn't want to pay for and now I can listen to it for basically free, as $9.99 isn't that much.  
    lostkiwijonagoldgregoriusmbadmonk
  • Reply 14 of 53
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,961member
    Oh, I did want to talk a little about this "hi Rez" download situation.

    last June, I was at an high end audio show in California called T.H.E Audio Show , Newport Beach. While I was there I went to the Meridian demo of their new compression technology called M.Q.A. This enables 24/96 audio quality with the same bandwidth as 16/44.1. It's primarily intended for streaming, but can be used for local stored music as well.

    I don't want to get into the details of how it works, but it sounded pretty good. Meridian is the company that developed the compression technology and standards for blue Ray, so they know what they're doing. The info is on their site.

    But here's the interesting thing. The two head homcho's were giving the demo. One said that they had over 100 licensees of this technology. He said that a very well known and large electronics company had licensed it, and that they were excited about that. I asked him if that company might make an announcement about a week from then. He turned to me and smiled. 'Yes", he said, it's possible. We all know who we both meant. I then spoke to the other guy, and told him that if Apple adopts this it will be a success, and that if they didn't, it would be iffy. He agreed with me on that.

    Apple didn't make an announcement. But Apple rarely makes announcements about things like this until they're ready for release. With all the recent talk about Apple and high Rez, I wonder if MQA is getting ready for release. Back in June, it required a d/a from Meridian with the software for use, but the concept is to get the software into hundreds of millions of devices. If Apple is going to do this, we could see it in a software update of either the OS, or the music player.

    Of course, I have no specific knowledge of what Apple is doing here, if anything, but this certainly is a possibility.
    edited January 2016 cornchipgregoriusmpalominecityguide
  • Reply 15 of 53
    jonljonl Posts: 210member
    melgross said:
    Oh, I did want to talk a little about this "hi Rez" download situation.

    last June, I was at an high end audio show in California called T.H.E Audio Show , Newport Beach. While I was there I went to the Meridian demo of their new compression technology called M.Q.A. This enables 24/96 audio quality with the same bandwidth as 16/44.1. It's primarily intended for streaming, but can be used for local stored music as well.

    I don't want to get into the details of how it works, but it sounded pretty good.
    So the array of people undergoing ABX testing during the demo all passed the test and preferred the "New! And Impoved!" tech?



    edited January 2016
  • Reply 16 of 53
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,961member
    jonl said:
    melgross said:
    Oh, I did want to talk a little about this "hi Rez" download situation.

    last June, I was at an high end audio show in California called T.H.E Audio Show , Newport Beach. While I was there I went to the Meridian demo of their new compression technology called M.Q.A. This enables 24/96 audio quality with the same bandwidth as 16/44.1. It's primarily intended for streaming, but can be used for local stored music as well.

    I don't want to get into the details of how it works, but it sounded pretty good.
    So the array of people undergoing ABX testing during the demo all passed the test and preferred the "New! And Impoved!" tech?



    Is that supposed to be cute?
  • Reply 17 of 53
    Nice chunk of change... Should average to well over 100 million per month. Go Apple!
    lostkiwi
  • Reply 18 of 53
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,745member
    It's easily the best service of its kind. My trial ends on the 26th, and the breadth of their library, the beautiful and dead-easy UI, and the intelligence of the "For You" curation, has earned Apple another subscriber.

    What's more, is that their streaming business model is actually sustainable. 
    cornchiplostkiwigregoriusmbadmonk
  • Reply 19 of 53
    lkrupp said:
    Yet another Apple service declared D.O.A., epic fail, you name it, by AI techie wannabes and experts that somehow succeeded in spite of their dour declarations. Apple Music joins an exclusive club of D.O.A. or failed products and services as predicted by our resident “Apple has lost its way” crowd.

    Apple Watch
    Apple TV
    Apple Music
    iTunes
    Macbook (w/single USB-C port)
    ...
    Don't forget about Apple iPad Pro. It seems to become the biggest failure among iPads ~
    cornchiplostkiwi
  • Reply 20 of 53
    melgross said:
    SuttaDost said:
    Isn't lightning port only capable of outputting 48kHz @ 24 bit? If that is true then how will it leverage 96 kHz sampling rate that apple is working on?

    It isn't the Lightning port itself that has the limitation, as it uses USB 2, which can easily go to 24/192. It's the converters inside that only do 24/48. But these converters only use the analog port. It's likely that this is a software situation that Apple needs to rectify.

    The Lightning Port on the iPad Pro is compatible with USB 3.0.  
    And it can output digital music to compatible headphones.  
    Currently the existing Lightning compatible headphones cost $800+.  
    The lightning port doesn't need to convert to analog.  It outputs pure digital data. It is the headphone or external DAC that converts the data to analog.  
    This is the huge advantage Apple will have by abandoning the analog port and going Lightning for headphones.
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