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News January 12, 2016

Apple Music surpasses 10m paying subscribers

Former Editor

Streaming sector leader Spotify took six years to achieve what Apple Music has done in six months: surpass 10 million paying subscribers.

It’s an impressive feat for Apple Inc., which launched its streaming service in over 100 countries last June. But as whispers become more audible about Apple Music taking Spotify’s spot as the industry leader in music subscription, we shouldn’t underestimate the nine-year-old Big Green Monster. Spotify’s Head of Communications Jonathan Princetweeted from Washington yesterday:

Music Business Worldwide has estimated Spotify now has at least 25 million paying subscribers. It has stated that because Spotify reported last June that it has 20m paying subscribers and 75m active users, it must have grown by 5m or more in the second half of 2015.

Estimates aside, 20 million users paying the $9.99 price tag each month is still impressive, partly because it didn’t have the advantages Apple Music had in its first six months; nor did it launch inthe current digital climate, where streaminghas grownby an impressive 83%in the US and 82% in the UK (2015 report). Of course, Apple Music launched in June with a three-month free trial and a preinstalled app on every iPhone. This meant potential users with an iTunes account already had their credit card details stored with Apple and could sign up with the click of a button.

The real test for Apple Music’s longevity was always going to be atthe end of the initial free trial period in October. While Apple Musicdid attract 11 million members just five weeks after its launch, with 2 million sign-ups for family plans, not all of them stuck around.

Apple is aiming at 100 million subscribers. Back in August, Jimmy Iovine – who along with Dr. Dre sold Beats to Apple and had its streaming service form the basis of Apple Music – said: “[… ] there’s still the issue of winning over millennials, who never pay for music, by showing them you’re offering something that will improve their lives.

“And finally, there are people out there who I think understand its value, but we still have to go out and get them.”

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