Apple Music has officially hit more than 20 million paying subscribers less than 18 months after launch at the end of June last year.
Although its like comparing apples to slightly different apples, the Cupertino giant tech company will no doubt sing from the rooftops that it took Spotify an agonizing seven years to hit the same point of paid subscription. Though Spotify could counter-argue that they broke the back of the streaming model in the first place by launching in 2008 and didn’t have the advantage of pre-installing the service on a billion iPhones globally. As the Gen predicted some time ago, streaming is moving towards a Pepsi / Coke model as opposed to a Highlander style ‘There can be only one’ showdown.
Speaking to Billboard (link to), Apple’s SVP of Internet Software and Products Eddy Cue said: “We can’t forget that, as an industry, we still have very few music subscribers. There are billions of people listening to music and we haven’t even hit 100 million subscribers. There’s a lot of growth opportunity”.
Interestingly, Apple have also stated that with Apple Music available in more than 100 countries, over 50 percent of subscribers live in markets outside of the U.S.
Perhaps the bigger story here is the overall reach of streaming, with Spotify and Apple Music now having a combined paying subscriber base of over 60m.
Daniel Ek stated in September this year that Spotify had surpassed 40m subscribers, doubling Apple’s figure. According to a bit of helpful number crunching over at Music Business Worldwide, this could mean that in 2016, Spotify has added 12m subscribers at last count (from 28m to 40m) while Apple Music has added 10m (10m to 20m).
In related news, the Financial Times has reported that Spotify has abandoned any plans to purchase SoundCloud on the rationale that it would slow the impending march towards an Initial Public Offering (IPO).
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