Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president, revealed an interesting tidbit in an interview with French site Numerama: Apple Music has passed the 60 million subscriber mark. That suggests an impressive rate of growth, given Tim Cook only announced the 50 million landmark in the first earnings call of the year.
“In the Apple ecosystem, Apple Music is the number one streaming service,” Cue told the site. That isn’t surprising on one level – Apple Music just plays nicely with Apple hardware, especially the HomePod – but on another it’s still quite impressive, given that globally Spotify is still way out in front with 100 million subscribers.
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Of course, it’s important not to necessarily take these figures as a direct comparison, with both companies not shying away from aggressive promotions in order to shift subscriptions. The four-month free subscriptions Apple gifted Shazam users back in February will just be coming to an end now, but Indian prices were also slashed to get a better footing outside of the United States, where it currently dominates.
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The same is true for Spotify, which has bundled itself with a bunch of other options including Hulu, Headspace, Vodafone and others. The seven-year head start Spotify had on Apple certainly helps maintain the convincing lead, but the company’s real advantage comes in its ad-supported tier which Apple Music lacks. Free accounts put the Swedish company convincingly ahead in terms of usage, with Spotify boasting that 217 million people listen to it every month.
The two companies are comfortably the main players in paid streaming music by some distance, with the likes of Deezer (7 million or so), YouTube Music Premium (supposedly around 15 million) and Tidal (estimated at 3 million back in 2018) some way off the pace.
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