Spotify says subscriber growth now doubles Apple Music

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited December 2019
Streaming music giant Spotify reported positive earnings for the third quarter of 2019 on Monday, with the company stressing increased subscriber growth which supposedly doubles that of Apple Music on a monthly basis.




In a letter to shareholders published in concert with today's earnings reveal, Spotify reports total monthly active users (MAUs) grew to 248 million during quarter three, a 30% year-over-year jump. More importantly, the company's premium tier numbers were up 31% on the year to hit 113 million paying subscribers.

Customer churn rates improved 19 bps year-over-year, the company said.

Citing the surprisingly positive metrics, Spotify claims it is handily trouncing the competition. The company drew specific comparisons to Apple Music, which has over the past few months enjoyed favorable media coverage as it gains on the streaming leader.

"Relative to Apple, the publicly available data shows that we are adding roughly twice as many subscribers per month as they are," Spotify said in investor note. "Additionally, we believe that our monthly engagement is roughly 2x as high and our churn is at half the rate."

Apple typically keeps Apple Music details private, reporting gains, losses and revenue in the catchall "Services" category, but the tech giant does from time to time announce subscriber numbers. Most recently, SVP of Services Eddy Cue in June said the streaming product boasts 60 million paying subscribers, up from 50 million in January.

While the 60 million subscriber metric pales in comparison to Spotify's 113 million premium users, Apple built its existing customer base at a faster clip, hitting the milestone in just four years. By comparison, Spotify Premium launched in 2008.

Despite lagging globally, Apple Music surpassed Spotify in the U.S. in April, according to estimates at the time. North America is Spotify's second-largest market and accounts for 27% of the service's total MAUs.

Today's earnings arrive as Spotify pursues antitrust claims against Apple in Europe. In a complaint lodged with the European Commission in March, the company claims Apple unfairly limits access to App Store data, third-party services and other technologies to gain a competitive advantage over other streaming industry players.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    I don’t stream so I use neither, but anecdotal evidence from the past many months from co-workers and family members (and their friends) does seem to favor Spotify.
    muthuk_vanalingamchemengin1davgregAppleExposedCarnage
  • Reply 2 of 35
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,356member
    Never underestimate Apple when they put their focus on something. I’m still trying to figure out how this company can claim They are growing at twice the rate of Apple’s offering while simultaneously claiming them to have a monopoly. 
    brisancelostkiwitmayrevenantRayz2016superklotonuraharaMacPromdriftmeyerpscooter63
  • Reply 3 of 35
    kevin keekevin kee Posts: 1,291member
    Most iOS users I know use Apple Music (or converting from Spotify to Apple Music recently) so I guess the numbers come mostly from Android users. I can understand that Apple Music, though available for Android, is not a popular choice there.
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 35
    Apple Music has a free trial period, but no free tier. So the closest comparison should be Spotify Premium vs Apple Music.
    MacPropscooter63StrangeDaysrepressthisn2itivguylolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 35
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 858member
    Cool. I still have absolutely no desire to use their service. 
    AppleExposed
  • Reply 6 of 35
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,671member
    That certainly seems plausible from my PoV: over here in Europe many get Spotify Premium for free when upgrading their DSL sub.

    h2p
  • Reply 7 of 35
    genovelle said:
    Never underestimate Apple when they put their focus on something. I’m still trying to figure out how this company can claim They are growing at twice the rate of Apple’s offering while simultaneously claiming them to have a monopoly. 
    What bunch of cry baby.....now you still complaining about Apple
    chemengin1pscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 35
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    genovelle said:
    Never underestimate Apple when they put their focus on something. I’m still trying to figure out how this company can claim They are growing at twice the rate of Apple’s offering while simultaneously claiming them to have a monopoly. 
    Good point. 🤔
    AppleExposedwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 35
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,467member
    Couple of things:
    1. I notice the story makes no mention of profit. Has Spotify finally made one?
    2. They’re comparing their “paid” subscribers (most HEAVILY subsidized and don’t directly pay anything, see various promotion partners ... not sure most of that group would pay if they actually had to) to old figures from Apple (four months ago).

    They’re still ahead in “paid” subs (unless you look more closely), but still losing money, not paying artists, still in court about that, and don’t have a plan to turn that around. How do you have 100+M subscribers and not turn a profit?
    edited October 2019 MacPropscooter63AppleExposedviclauyyclolliverwatto_cobrabadmonk
  • Reply 10 of 35
    brisance said:
    Apple Music has a free trial period, but no free tier. So the closest comparison should be Spotify Premium vs Apple Music.
    It is, if you read the article. 113 million is their premium tier. Free subscribers are 248 million!
    uraharaCloudTalkinAppleExposed
  • Reply 11 of 35
    uraharaurahara Posts: 624member
    JinTech said:
    Cool. I still have absolutely no desire to use their service. 
    Desire - seems quite emotional. 
    Is that just ideological believes or there is a more rational reason behind that? 

    I am just wondering about that because I consider switching to Spotify. I like that they have so many playlists available when I look for something. What else should I (rationally) consider? 
    chemengin1
  • Reply 12 of 35
    croprcropr Posts: 1,075member
    chasm said:
    Couple of things:
    1. I notice the story makes no mention of profit. Has Spotify finally made one?
    2. They’re comparing their “paid” subscribers (most HEAVILY subsidized and don’t directly pay anything, see various promotion partners ... not sure most of that group would pay if they actually had to) to old figures from Apple (four months ago).

    They’re still ahead in “paid” subs (unless you look more closely), but still losing money, not paying artists, still in court about that, and don’t have a plan to turn that around. How do you have 100+M subscribers and not turn a profit?
    What is wrong about Spotify having a lot of promotion partners.  Apple has also been using this schema as well.
    Profit in Q3 is 54 M Euro.   So your comments are outdated. 


    CloudTalkinanantksundaramZepLepplinnumenoreanchemengin1
  • Reply 13 of 35
    A lot of people in Europe get Spotify Premium for free with their mobile company package. The promos include either Spotify Premium or Tidal Premium (Yes, Tidal still exists), and they promise either one or two years included for free (You also often get offers for HBO or Netflix for free for a year), depending on package and company. You sometimes even get it with the purchase of a car.

    Don't underestimate the free tier and availability, though. When you've had Spotify for 10 years, you have a lot of playlists which you share with friends and with thousands of users who subscribe to them, you're not simply going to abandon that for Apple Music. Instead, when it comes time to choose a Premium, you're going to get the one you're already on (or whichever is free with your mobile contract). It's difficult for Apple to compete against that. Also, markets with lower incomes are always going to go for Spotify, because it's free (or Deezer, which though less known, also has a free tier).

    Not being as entrenched in the U.S. (since 2011) and having a lot more competition made it more difficult for them to dominate the U.S. like they do elsewhere, giving Apple Music a better chance with its dominant position as the premium platform of choice. :)

    Just pondering...
    edited October 2019
  • Reply 14 of 35
    foljsfoljs Posts: 383member
    I don't see how Spotify's metrics are relevant.

    For one, everybody (including Apple) knows that Apple Music is 90% for the Apple ecosystem users.

    Those, if one includes all macOS/iOS users, are still much smaller compared to Android and Windows users.

    And Apple doesn't much care about those others (even if they will e.g. make a client for Android, like they have a Windows iTunes).

    So I don't think Apple expects to get the non-iOS/macOS part of the market, and thus doesn't expect to ever be larger than someone that does...
    MacProStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 35
    croprcropr Posts: 1,075member
    foljs said:
    I don't see how Spotify's metrics are relevant.

    For one, everybody (including Apple) knows that Apple Music is 90% for the Apple ecosystem users.

    Those, if one includes all macOS/iOS users, are still much smaller compared to Android and Windows users.

    And Apple doesn't much care about those others (even if they will e.g. make a client for Android, like they have a Windows iTunes).

    So I don't think Apple expects to get the non-iOS/macOS part of the market, and thus doesn't expect to ever be larger than someone that does...
    Knowing how many iPhone users have a premium or free Spotify subscription is an important metric for Apple.  And if I look around I see that in Europe these numbers are very high.  Of the more than 100 people which I know to have an iOS device, only 2 of them have an Apple Music subscription.  The rest, including myself is using Spotify.
    numenoreanh2pAppleExposed
  • Reply 16 of 35
    JinTech said:
    Cool. I still have absolutely no desire to use their service. 
    Why not? You don’t know what you’re missing. I tried it, cancelled AM and never regretted it! Spotify is just an overall superior service.


    you mileage may vary...



    numenoreanchemengin1
  • Reply 17 of 35
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,351member
    Spotify has got to have the stupidest C-Class Execs on the planet. 

    The minute you publicly highlight how well you're doing in contrast to the numerous 
    complaints you levied against Apple just last year it renders those complaints moot 
    and allows Apple to be more aggressive about pushing Apple Music.  Apple always 
    has to be wary of antitrust issues.  

    Apple is in no way dependent on Apple Music subs so this move does nothing to harm 
    them and only gives them breathing room. 
    lkruppStrangeDaysAppleExposedlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 35

    urahara said:
    JinTech said:
    Cool. I still have absolutely no desire to use their service. 
    Desire - seems quite emotional. 
    Is that just ideological believes or there is a more rational reason behind that? 

    I am just wondering about that because I consider switching to Spotify. I like that they have so many playlists available when I look for something. What else should I (rationally) consider? 



    At the very least try it!

    For me: easier navigation, way better UI. Stronger and better playlists/recommendations according to my listening habits. Overall a better and more enjoyable experience. The ‘Your Weekly Discovery’ and the ‘Your Release Radar’ playlists weekly updates are so good to me!  

    chemengin1
  • Reply 19 of 35
    totstots Posts: 1member
    While I haven't tried Spotify, Apple Music leaves a lot to be desired. Apple Music does very little to facilitate music discovery in the genres I like. For example, If I click on the browse section I'm greeted with Pop and R&B music. Most of my music interest is in Alternative, Singer/Song writer, Classical and Jazz. In order to get to these genres I've got to go to the browse tab, go to the bottom of the screen, and find "Genres". This process is extremely cumbersome as it blends in with reset of the UI elements.

    Even the "For You" section isn't good at displaying new artists, tracks or playlists I may like. Sure it does personalize a bit, but I've found other than using "Recently Played" I never use anything else on the screen. 

    Maybe I'm overly critical, but for a company that knows every iTunes song I've purchased, all the songs I've uploaded through iTunes Match and all the songs I listen to daily, I find discovery/personalization in Apple Music to be completely underwhelming if not non-existent.  
    edited October 2019 StrangeDaysnumenoreandavgregviclauyycmobirdchemengin1
  • Reply 20 of 35
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 1,448member
    Good for Spotify, I don't want every product or service to come from Apple, believe it or not there are companies do things better than Apple. 
    davgregZepLepplinjcs2305chemengin1
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