Apple Music overtakes Spotify in U.S. subscriber counts

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
Apple Music has pulled ahead of Spotify in the U.S. market, a major music distributor claims, with Apple's streaming service said to have overtaken its main rival in terms of the number of paid subscribers from the United States.




The unidentified U.S.-based distributor shared subscriber counts for the streaming services with Digital Music News, advising that while both Apple Music and Spotify have more than 20 million subscribers in the market, Apple is now a "hair ahead." Exact counts were not published for confidentiality reasons.

The distributor's report also points to Apple Music being the most popular of on-demand music streaming services in the United States, though not the most popular music service overall. By comparison, the report notes Sirius XM Satellite Radio has more than 33 million subscribers.

Since its launch, Apple Music has rapidly increased its subscriber base to make it one of the biggest services of its kind in the world, including outpacing Spotify's growth. In May, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed Apple Music had more than 50 million users split between paid subscribers and trials, while in April the service passed the 40 million paid subscriber milestone.

Analysis at the time speculated a growth rate for Apple Music of approximately 4 million paid subscribers per month.

A February report suggested the growth rate of Apple Music was around 5 percent per month, compared to Spotify's 2 percent growth. The report anticipated Apple Music growing past Spotify in the U.S. at some point this summer.

Spotify continues to be the larger service overall, ending its March financial quarter with a 75 million subscribers, a year-on-year increase of 45 percent. Spotify also recorded 170 million active users during the period, including both paid and free tier users, itself up 30 percent on 2017's figures, suggesting the service is still seeing growth.

A more recent indicator of how each of the services are faring is the record-setting release of Scorpion, Drake's fifth album, which took place last month. On the first day of availability, Apple Music hosted more than 170 million streams of the album, while Spotify achieved only 132 million streams despite the higher user base.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 56
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,006member
    I remember Apple Music being mocked HEAVILY on this very forum for "not having a chance" against Spotify. Apple proves the haters epically wrong yet again, and shows them to be small-minded idiots without a shred of foresight.
    lkruppbrucemctmayandrewj5790radarthekatlostkiwironnbshankclaire1watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 56
    matrix077matrix077 Posts: 432member
    This’s gonna be fun. 

    Spotify boasting about its user is not different than Google boasting about Android activations 8 years ago. Quantity not quality. 
    lostkiwibshankwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 56
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 2,888member
    matrix077 said:
    This’s gonna be fun. 

    Spotify boasting about its user is not different than Google boasting about Android activations 8 years ago. Quantity not quality. 
    Spotify isn’t a quality service? Based on what?

    Considering AM is the default music app on every iOS device it would be embarrassing for Apple if it didn’t take over Spotify.
    singularity
  • Reply 4 of 56
    adm1adm1 Posts: 836member
    Was Spotify ever really huge in america? I always got the impression that Spotify and Deezer were bigger outside the US than inside it. Over the years, the US has had plenty of it's own homegrown streaming services and alternatives including internet radio that wasn't ever a big thing in other countries. 
  • Reply 5 of 56
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,084member
    slurpy said:
    I remember Apple Music being mocked HEAVILY on this very forum for "not having a chance" against Spotify. Apple proves the haters epically wrong yet again, and shows them to be small-minded idiots without a shred of foresight.
    True but you need to realize what Apple centric forums have become these days. Everything Apple does, says, releases, updates, upgrades is immediately trashed and denigrated as too little, too late and insufficient. When success comes despite the trashing the “yeah but” and twisted explanations come like the one above my post. Once an Apple initiative is deemed by the resident technorati to be a failure reality becomes malleable, a sort of reverse RDF if you please. Just sit back and wait for the hoards to add their two negative cents. Spotify has been anointed the be-all end-all of streaming music services and anything that questions that status will be viciously attacked. Those who do this are also the same ones who label Apple fans as mindless sheep who can’t see through the marketing. Pot, meet Kettle. 
    brucemctmayandrewj5790Rayz2016ronnclaire1LukeCagewatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 6 of 56
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,856member
    matrix077 said:
    This’s gonna be fun. 

    Spotify boasting about its user is not different than Google boasting about Android activations 8 years ago. Quantity not quality. 
    Spotify isn’t a quality service? Based on what?
    Not sure about matrix077, but for me, it's just another platform for major music labels to control.  Same as traditional pay-for-play radio.  Then again, I don't subscribe to Apple Music either (I use iTunes Match).  But as least Apple has other sources of income so that it doesn't have to give favour to major labels in order to make ends meet.
    edited July 6
  • Reply 7 of 56
    nunzynunzy Posts: 414member
    What would happen if Apple banned Spotify from all of its devices?

    They might lose a couple of device sales, but probably not many. Apple has the ability. But do they have the nerve?
  • Reply 8 of 56
    I subscribed for carpool karaoke and am excited about the new upcoming Amy Schumer comedy special Apple is producing. #WINNING!

    Actually I just subscribed to my first service through Spotify thus month and its due to Apples set up.

    Apple Music is confined to limited devices while Spotify is basically universal across the board in both products as well as how you can access it. Different phones, tablets, web browser, video game consoles, speakers, etc.

    Biggest reason is how Apple has handled speakers. I already have speakers in every room. Speakers that are better than Apple Home Pod. I just want to make them smart as well as sync them but Apple doesn't have a way to do this while Google and Amazon do. I just say "google play rock music on spotify" and it syncs across the entire household as well as smart commands without the need to do wonky workarounds because Apple doesn't play nice outside its own phone.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 9 of 56
    greg uvangreg uvan Posts: 57member
    nunzy said:
    What would happen if Apple banned Spotify from all of its devices?

    They might lose a couple of device sales, but probably not many. Apple has the ability. But do they have the nerve?
    They'd be subject to anti competition legislation. It's something of a mystery to me that they aren't already, for the fact that the Music app comes prebundled with every iPhone. Doesn't it feel a bit like Internet Explorer being bundled with Windows and giving MS an unfair advantage over Netscape? 

    I'm an Apple Music subscriber, however, and I quite like it. But, I'm one of those weirdos who likes iTunes. I've been using iTunes since it ran on Mac OS 9. My whole history and collected music library, ratings, playlists, etc are in iTunes. It just makes sense to stay with iTunes, which now makes a music streaming service available. For me, it never made sense to even bother with Spotify because it was a complete foreign environment. 
    dasanman69
  • Reply 10 of 56
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,856member

    Biggest reason is how Apple has handled speakers. I already have speakers in every room. Speakers that are better than Apple Home Pod. I just want to make them smart as well as sync them but Apple doesn't have a way to do this while Google and Amazon do. I just say "google play rock music on spotify" and it syncs across the entire household as well as smart commands without the need to do wonky workarounds because Apple doesn't play nice outside its own phone.
    All of those speakers could be made to work that way with an Airplay-enabled receiver.
    edited July 6 tdknoxlostkiwi
  • Reply 11 of 56
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,407member
    greg uvan said:
    nunzy said:
    What would happen if Apple banned Spotify from all of its devices?

    They might lose a couple of device sales, but probably not many. Apple has the ability. But do they have the nerve?
    They'd be subject to anti competition legislation. It's something of a mystery to me that they aren't already, for the fact that the Music app comes prebundled with every iPhone. Doesn't it feel a bit like Internet Explorer being bundled with Windows and giving MS an unfair advantage over Netscape? 

    I'm an Apple Music subscriber, however, and I quite like it. But, I'm one of those weirdos who likes iTunes. I've been using iTunes since it ran on Mac OS 9. My whole history and collected music library, ratings, playlists, etc are in iTunes. It just makes sense to stay with iTunes, which now makes a music streaming service available. For me, it never made sense to even bother with Spotify because it was a complete foreign environment. 
    I don't believe that Apple should (or ever would) "ban" Spotify or other services from iPhone.  Their record over the past decade indicates that they don't seem interested in doing so.  And many arguments that having service flexibility is in Apple's best interest for their products which are "platforms" (iPhone/iPad, Mac).

    As for "anti competition" [based on monopoly practices I assume you mean], that is hard to justify at a global level when Apple's installed base might be 30% of the total smartphone market.  Microsoft had greater than 90% of the entire PC OS market at the time.
    tdknox
  • Reply 12 of 56
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,319member
    nunzy said:
    What would happen if Apple banned Spotify from all of its devices?

    They might lose a couple of device sales, but probably not many. Apple has the ability. But do they have the nerve?
    On what grounds? Competition?

    That is the kind of behaviour that would get them in hot water. Why stop at Spotify? Why not ban Google Maps, iCab, WhatsApp, Gmail ...
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 13 of 56
    wigbywigby Posts: 671member
    matrix077 said:
    This’s gonna be fun. 

    Spotify boasting about its user is not different than Google boasting about Android activations 8 years ago. Quantity not quality. 
    Spotify isn’t a quality service? Based on what?

    Considering AM is the default music app on every iOS device it would be embarrassing for Apple if it didn’t take over Spotify.
    Conversely, Spotify has only one job, one focus, one thing to do and they couldn't beat Apple in paying US customers.
    edited July 6
  • Reply 14 of 56
    nunzy said:
    What would happen if Apple banned Spotify from all of its devices?

    They might lose a couple of device sales, but probably not many. Apple has the ability. But do they have the nerve?
    Although Apple offers services (and makes reasonable money doing so), its core focii are hardware and user experience. Services support those - they encourage hardware sales and, when well done, enhance the user experience (to encourage more hardware sales). So long as the value of an iPhone to a user is increased by the existence of Spotify, Apple is largely indifferent to whether someone becomes an Apple Music subscriber or a Spotify subscriber - both result in hardware sales. At the same time, music is weird because it can't easily be constrained to an ecosystem - thus the availability of Apple Music on Android. Also, Apple has big plans for continuity across devices (because then they can sell more devices and lower the likelihood of switching ecosystems) and so the creation of Apple Music was important to have smooth integration across iPhone, Mac, Apple Watch, HomePod, and AppleTV. If Apple knew for certain that someone like Spotify would do the same (support all devices consistently and for the foreseeable future) Apple might have been less aggressive on music. But Apple can't know and so needed to build a competitor - to encourage the sales of ancillary devices where Apple cares a lot. A note: given the almost single-minded focus of HomePod on music (and, as a corollary, meaning that Apple Music is especially valuable for HomePod), one wonders what Apple's plans are (or were) for HomePod. We have one, we like it, but its sound quality is not all it was hyped to be (certainly better than Google Home and Echo, but 3x better?). Was Apple Music really created for this meh device?
    edited July 6 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 15 of 56
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 39member
    No need to ban Spotify as they will run out of cash and succumb to Apple Music or any of the other services. Unless you are a massive company with deep pockets you won't last and have revenue from other sources. I read that the CEO of Spotify said he was not concerned about Apple Music. These brush offs of Apple's might are not a wise move. I'd be kicking into overdrive as it is the only chance they wave. There also is a tendency to move from one service to the next after a new one comes into vogue for the crowd where price is all that matters.
  • Reply 16 of 56
    adbeadbe Posts: 10member
    greg uvan said:
    nunzy said:
    What would happen if Apple banned Spotify from all of its devices?

    They might lose a couple of device sales, but probably not many. Apple has the ability. But do they have the nerve?
    They'd be subject to anti competition legislation. It's something of a mystery to me that they aren't already, for the fact that the Music app comes prebundled with every iPhone. Doesn't it feel a bit like Internet Explorer being bundled with Windows and giving MS an unfair advantage over Netscape? 

     Not comparable.  MS firstly had a much larger share of the market, and thus could wield vastly more influence, and secondly, which is the big one, their actions with IE amounted to 'dumping.'  MS gave away a product that Netscape charged for.  

    In Europe, the decision was made to address the IE issue by tackling the 'bundling' side, but that was just the least bad option for trying to shove the genie back in the bottle.

    Since Apple Music requires a sub subscription in the same manner as Spotify does, and there is no reason to think Apple are artificially under-pricing the Apple Music service, a case for anti-competitive behavior here is currently weak.
    taugust04_aitaugust04_ai
  • Reply 17 of 56
    wigbywigby Posts: 671member

    nunzy said:
    What would happen if Apple banned Spotify from all of its devices?

    They might lose a couple of device sales, but probably not many. Apple has the ability. But do they have the nerve?
    Why would they bother? This article proves they are already winning in the US without banning Spotify. They make more money and more happy customers by offering competing services. Unlike MS or Google, Apple has never been about dominating marketshare for any of their products. The closest they've ever come to any monopoly was the iPod but they only tripped into that monopoly because the competition was so bad.
    muthuk_vanalingamLukeCage
  • Reply 18 of 56
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,290member
    I'm not sure that those numbers are credible.

    According to the RIAA, in 2017 there were 35.3 million paid streaming subscriptions, up from 22.7 million in 2016.      At the same growth rate, that would mean there are currently about 42 million paid streaming subs.   If Apple and Spotify each have about 20 million, that only leaves 2 million subs for all the other services combined.   That's not credible, IMO, unless the growth rate in 2018 is far higher than the growth rate last year.   


  • Reply 19 of 56
    andrewj5790andrewj5790 Posts: 202member
    matrix077 said:
    This’s gonna be fun. 

    Spotify boasting about its user is not different than Google boasting about Android activations 8 years ago. Quantity not quality. 
    Spotify isn’t a quality service? Based on what?

    Considering AM is the default music app on every iOS device it would be embarrassing for Apple if it didn’t take over Spotify.
    I don’t want to speak for the OP but I don’t think he was comparing the services in question but the subscribers to those services. iPhone users being more willing to spend money, etc. I think it’s a fair point. Being cross platform isn’t all that great of an advantage when a high percentage of the folks on the other platforms don’t spend money. 
  • Reply 20 of 56
    uraharaurahara Posts: 163member
    I still like Spotify more, bacause you have here playlists created by other users.
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