Spotify breaks 100 million paid subscribers, holding lead over Apple Music

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
Spotify on Monday revealed that it has topped 100 million paid subscribers worldwide, putting it twice as far ahead as Apple Music, albeit with a years-long headstart.

Spotify


Premium subscribers grew 32 percent year-over-year in the March quarter, Spotify said. Total listenership reached 217 million people, aided by 2 million in India, who've only been able to sign up since February.

The Swedish firm is aiming for between 222 and 228 million listeners by the end of the current quarter. Of those, 107 to 110 million are forecast to be on Premium.

The company reported $158.3 million in losses, but recently acquired three separate podcasting firms: Anchor, Gimlet Media, and Parcast. Apple has traditionally enjoyed a lead role in podcasts thanks to iTunes, but Spotify said it intends to build a better ad model with superior "targeting, measurement, and reporting capabilities."

Smartspeakers are another focus, Spotify mentioned, without commenting on rumors that it's developing first-party hardware. The service is a native option on Amazon Alexa- and Google Home-compatible speakers, though not on Apple's HomePod, where only Apple Music has full Siri control.

Spotify was the first major on-demand music platform, launching in 2008. Apple Music has enjoyed relatively rapid growth -- its 50 million users have appeared since just 2015, aided by default integration across Apple devices. It recently surpassed Spotify Premium in the U.S., even if ad-based listeners continue to give Spotify an overall advantage in listener base.

The two companies are engaged in a legal war in Europe, where Spotify recently launched a competition complaint with the European Commission. Apple has established artificial barriers to competition, Spotify charges, pointing to the fact that it takes 15% to 30% from third-party App Store subscriptions, simultaneously denying those parties the same level of integration as Apple Music. In its defense Apple has argued that Spotify wants "all those benefits [of the App Store] while also retaining 100 percent of the revenue."
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 41
    FatmanFatman Posts: 321member
    Anecdotal rumblings ...The UX on Spotify is preferred by most, Spotify's play lists are more on the mark. Spotify's free tier helps people get used to the service, create playlists and then sign-up for paid version when ready. The AirPlay2 push plus Verizon promo will help Apple's market share, but Apple needs to be on par or better.Once people are on a service they tend to stick with it.
    deminsdanantksundaramchemenginlostkiwicornchipCarnage
  • Reply 2 of 41
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,513member
    100 million paid subscribers but still $158.3 million in losses? There’s no path to profitability here.
    hmurchison78Banditjbdragonlostkiwicornchipmacxpresschasm1983
  • Reply 3 of 41
    Play a game: divide Spotify revenue by number of subscribers. You get an interesting picture of what their “paid” subscriber is. 
    chasm
  • Reply 4 of 41
    flydogflydog Posts: 356member
    Fatman said:
    Anecdotal rumblings ...The UX on Spotify is preferred by most, Spotify's play lists are more on the mark. Spotify's free tier helps people get used to the service, create playlists and then sign-up for paid version when ready. The AirPlay2 push plus Verizon promo will help Apple's market share, but Apple needs to be on par or better.Once people are on a service they tend to stick with it.
    Apple could care less about winning the subscriber count battle.  It's about making money, and Spotify has done nothing but lose money since day 1.  

    leavingthebiggStrangeDayslostkiwicornchipchasm
  • Reply 5 of 41
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,475member
    100 million paid subscribers but still $158.3 million in losses? There’s no path to profitability here.
    Amazon only recently began reporting profits. Before that it was perfectly okay for them to lose money hand over fist. In the tech blog wars it’s always about market share or share of profits isn’t it. 
    chemenginCarnageAppleExposed
  • Reply 6 of 41
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,213member
    Fatman said:
    Anecdotal rumblings ...The UX on Spotify is preferred by most, Spotify's play lists are more on the mark. Spotify's free tier helps people get used to the service, create playlists and then sign-up for paid version when ready. The AirPlay2 push plus Verizon promo will help Apple's market share, but Apple needs to be on par or better.Once people are on a service they tend to stick with it.

    Yeah Apple Music is still not great. Take playlists for example. I have some music that crosses different playlists. There’s no easy way to add songs from one playlist to the next. You have to do it one by one or add the entire playlist to another, Playlists also allow duplicate songs (even from the same album). If you try to add a song to a playlist that’s already there you should get a message saying the song already exists. Instead it just gets added again. You can’t manually sort playlists and CarPlay sorts alphabetically no matter how they’re sorted in the iOS music app. When you search for a song or pull up top songs from an artist 9 times out of 10 the first listing you get is a greatest hits album. If I’m adding music to my collection I want the original album not some greatest hits album. Even Apple Music radio stations are mediocre. I listen to decade/genre stations and they repeat the same songs constantly. Now I do most of my non-playlist listening in the SiriusXM app because it has more variety. These are minor things but if Apple really wanted to they could make Apple Music far and away the best streaming platforms.
    anantksundaramchemenginlostkiwi
  • Reply 7 of 41
    lukeilukei Posts: 333member
    lkrupp said:
    100 million paid subscribers but still $158.3 million in losses? There’s no path to profitability here.
    Amazon only recently began reporting profits. Before that it was perfectly okay for them to lose money hand over fist. In the tech blog wars it’s always about market share or share of profits isn’t it. 
    Except... Apple, Amazon, YouTube. None need to make money out of their music service. It’s all part of their mix. 

    Spotify has to make money out of one service. 
    jbdragonviclauyyccornchipmacxpresschasm
  • Reply 8 of 41
    deminsddeminsd Posts: 143member
    flydog said:
    Fatman said:
    Anecdotal rumblings ...The UX on Spotify is preferred by most, Spotify's play lists are more on the mark. Spotify's free tier helps people get used to the service, create playlists and then sign-up for paid version when ready. The AirPlay2 push plus Verizon promo will help Apple's market share, but Apple needs to be on par or better.Once people are on a service they tend to stick with it.
    Apple could care less about winning the subscriber count battle.  It's about making money, and Spotify has done nothing but lose money since day 1.  

    Not sure where you get your insider information that you can speak for Apple, but I believe BOTH are true.  It is all about making money, but IMO, Apple is also all about numbers and being on top.  
    anantksundaramchemengingatorguyAppleExposed
  • Reply 9 of 41
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,475member
    deminsd said:
    flydog said:
    Fatman said:
    Anecdotal rumblings ...The UX on Spotify is preferred by most, Spotify's play lists are more on the mark. Spotify's free tier helps people get used to the service, create playlists and then sign-up for paid version when ready. The AirPlay2 push plus Verizon promo will help Apple's market share, but Apple needs to be on par or better.Once people are on a service they tend to stick with it.
    Apple could care less about winning the subscriber count battle.  It's about making money, and Spotify has done nothing but lose money since day 1.  

    Not sure where you get your insider information that you can speak for Apple, but I believe BOTH are true.  It is all about making money, but IMO, Apple is also all about numbers and being on top.  
    There is personal pride at work in even the biggest companies. The day Apple surpassed DELL in market capitalization Steve Jobs crowd about it. Michael Dell had insulted Jobs and Apple when he suggested they shut it down and return the money to the investors. 
    viclauyycStrangeDays
  • Reply 10 of 41
    100 million paid subscribers but still $158.3 million in losses? There’s no path to profitability here.
    Good point. And Spotify is actively resisting paying artists what they consider 'fair'. I don't what that amount is personally, but Apple has not joined that resistance movement. Those losses you note, could rise if royalty structure ends up changing.
    lostkiwicornchiptmaychasm
  • Reply 11 of 41
    100 million paid subscribers but still $158.3 million in losses? There’s no path to profitability here.
    Subs growing by a third and gorillas like Apple/Amazon/Google breathing down their necks. It makes perfect sense for them to invest in subscriber growth then revenue growth followed by profit. If they try to eek out a profit now, Apple will sign up customers and they'll never have the chance to get them back
  • Reply 12 of 41
    I subscribe to Spotify and the albums they propose for me could not be better made by my closest friend. Apple Music, to which I subscribed a few times, gave me album propositions that were completely not my taste. I love Apple, Apple Music though is a failure. At least that is what I think. Spotify is a smashing success.
    chemengin
  • Reply 13 of 41
    Entirely anecdotal, but neither of my kids or anyone I know in their immediate circle of friends uses AppleMusic. They're all on Spotify, however. In fact, one of my kids accidentally let the "free 3-month" offer expire, and was charged by Apple. He canceled it right away. 
    chemenginmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 14 of 41
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,192member
    100 million paid subscribers but still $158.3 million in losses? There’s no path to profitability here.
    That's the thing. They haven't turned a profit since opening their doors. As they get more users they lose more money!!! It's just strange. It's like a money pit. How long until there's no one left to get more money from to keep their doors open? They're a dot com bubble all on their own just waiting to pop. Being #1 isn't as important as turning a Profit. Being in the Black. Even if they at some point finally break even, it'll going to take years to get out of the hole they're in. I just don't know how long they can keep this up.
    viclauyyclostkiwi
  • Reply 15 of 41
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,309member
    Entirely anecdotal, but neither of my kids or anyone I know in their immediate circle of friends uses AppleMusic. They're all on Spotify, however. In fact, one of my kids accidentally let the "free 3-month" offer expire, and was charged by Apple. He canceled it right away. 
    It's not really because Spotify is that great they have decent social features where you send your playlist or other things to friends and the biggest thing is Spotify is available everywhere.   Apple Music is available on Apple Devices,  Amazon devices and Sonos.   

    It's clear from the rumblings from other vendors that Apple is going open up Apple Music.  Google let slip support for Google Assistant devices and other vendors like Savant have said "yeah Apple Music is coming". 

    Make me wonder if Apple's going to add some interesting things to Apple Music and the ecosystem at WWDC. 
    cornchipAppleExposed
  • Reply 16 of 41
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,192member
    deminsd said:
    flydog said:
    Fatman said:
    Anecdotal rumblings ...The UX on Spotify is preferred by most, Spotify's play lists are more on the mark. Spotify's free tier helps people get used to the service, create playlists and then sign-up for paid version when ready. The AirPlay2 push plus Verizon promo will help Apple's market share, but Apple needs to be on par or better.Once people are on a service they tend to stick with it.
    Apple could care less about winning the subscriber count battle.  It's about making money, and Spotify has done nothing but lose money since day 1.  

    Not sure where you get your insider information that you can speak for Apple, but I believe BOTH are true.  It is all about making money, but IMO, Apple is also all about numbers and being on top.  
    Being on top is nice at all, but actually making a profit is more important. When Apple is making close to 80% of the Smartphone profits, yet only about 20% of the global market. What does being #1 get you? Samesung sells more phones than Apple, but only make about 10% of the Smartphone profits. Because most of the phones they sell are Low end to mid range. They make most of their money from the S & Note series phones even though that's a small overall percentage.

    Apple can never be #1. Because it's Apple by themselves against a whole lot of other company's making Android phones. Phones where they make slim to none in profits or even lose money. Apple is not going to play that game.

    Put is this way in simple terms. Android sells a ZILLION phones are breaks even. Apple Sells 1 iPhone and makes a $50 profit. Who Wins? Android sells 10 ZILLION phones, Apple sells 10 iPhones but makes a $500 profit. Again who wins? Android people will say Android did, they sold 10 ZILLION phones to Apple's 10!!! Android is #1. Anyone else with a brain will say Apple is Winning. They actually made a $500 profit. This is pretty much what is happening.

    Businesses are created to MAKE MONEY!! They don't exist to create jobs. That's just a needed side effect to grow larger. If you're not making money, you can't keep your doors open. Breaking even doesn't cut it.

    Spotify is the hole for the last 10 years, MILLIONS in debt, with no Profit in site yet?!?! They really have nothing to fall back on. Apple just cares to break even. If they can make a profit on Apple Music, great, but break even is just fine also as they have everything else to fall back on. What does Spotify have? They can be #1, #1 loser of money!!! How long can they keep that up?
    edited April 29 cornchipAppleExposed
  • Reply 17 of 41
    LatkoLatko Posts: 398member
    flydog said:
    Fatman said:
    Anecdotal rumblings ...The UX on Spotify is preferred by most, Spotify's play lists are more on the mark. Spotify's free tier helps people get used to the service, create playlists and then sign-up for paid version when ready. The AirPlay2 push plus Verizon promo will help Apple's market share, but Apple needs to be on par or better.Once people are on a service they tend to stick with it.
    Apple could care less about winning the subscriber count battle.  It's about making money, and Spotify has done nothing but lose money since day 1.  

    Apple Music probably has even more losses (staff, office, server, bandwidth, licenses, fees) that are being covered by massive cross-subsidization. Referring to Jimmy Iovine who complalined he didn’t see how music streaming could be a viable business
  • Reply 18 of 41
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,309member
    Latko said:
    flydog said:
    Fatman said:
    Anecdotal rumblings ...The UX on Spotify is preferred by most, Spotify's play lists are more on the mark. Spotify's free tier helps people get used to the service, create playlists and then sign-up for paid version when ready. The AirPlay2 push plus Verizon promo will help Apple's market share, but Apple needs to be on par or better.Once people are on a service they tend to stick with it.
    Apple could care less about winning the subscriber count battle.  It's about making money, and Spotify has done nothing but lose money since day 1.  

    Apple Music probably has even more losses (staff, office, server, bandwidth, licenses, fees) that are being covered by massive cross-subsidization. Referring to Jimmy Iovine who complalined he didn’t see how music streaming could be a viable business

    It's not a viable business on its own.   Apple needs to negotiate the next step which is finding a way to balance the sale of music with the "all you can eat" subscriptions.  Most of the music lovers that I know use streaming services to curate and find music for them and the best stuff gets purchased.   Apple's message regarding buying versus streaming is cloudy.   I'd like to see a threshold being hit where if I purchase enough music I get my streaming fees comped.  I'd like to see Apple focus more on concert goers as well.  Acquire BandsInTown and integrate it into a future version of music.  We also need hires support sooner rather than later. 

    When you're young you need the inexpensive package but later in life as an enthusiast you want more course to the meal and you have the disposable income to make it happen. 


    viclauyyclostkiwicornchipAppleExposed
  • Reply 19 of 41
    Eric_WVGGEric_WVGG Posts: 686member
    Fatman said:
    Anecdotal rumblings ...The UX on Spotify is preferred by most, Spotify's play lists are more on the mark. Spotify's free tier helps people get used to the service, create playlists and then sign-up for paid version when ready. The AirPlay2 push plus Verizon promo will help Apple's market share, but Apple needs to be on par or better.Once people are on a service they tend to stick with it.
    Does Spotify Mac support Airplay 2 now? (Like, in the app, not redirecting all your audio outward?) That was what made Spotify a non-starter for me a few years back.
  • Reply 20 of 41
    viclauyycviclauyyc Posts: 378member
    Fatman said:
    Anecdotal rumblings ...The UX on Spotify is preferred by most, Spotify's play lists are more on the mark. Spotify's free tier helps people get used to the service, create playlists and then sign-up for paid version when ready. The AirPlay2 push plus Verizon promo will help Apple's market share, but Apple needs to be on par or better.Once people are on a service they tend to stick with it.

    Yeah Apple Music is still not great. Take playlists for example. I have some music that crosses different playlists. There’s no easy way to add songs from one playlist to the next. You have to do it one by one or add the entire playlist to another, Playlists also allow duplicate songs (even from the same album). If you try to add a song to a playlist that’s already there you should get a message saying the song already exists. Instead it just gets added again. You can’t manually sort playlists and CarPlay sorts alphabetically no matter how they’re sorted in the iOS music app. When you search for a song or pull up top songs from an artist 9 times out of 10 the first listing you get is a greatest hits album. If I’m adding music to my collection I want the original album not some greatest hits album. Even Apple Music radio stations are mediocre. I listen to decade/genre stations and they repeat the same songs constantly. Now I do most of my non-playlist listening in the SiriusXM app because it has more variety. These are minor things but if Apple really wanted to they could make Apple Music far and away the best streaming platforms.
    Apple is never into customization for user. 

    However, Spotify also share some stubbornness  when it comes to playlists. Eg. Can’t delete song from playlist create by other user.. 
Sign In or Register to comment.