Apple Music Now Has 38 Million Subscribers

At SXSW, Apple’s Eddy Cue announced a new milestone for the company’s music streaming service. Reuters reports that Apple Music now has 38 million subscribers worldwide, gaining roughly 2 million subscribers since February.

Apple Music is still falling behind Spotify, which continues to grow with 71 million subscribers worldwide. Going forward, there will be fierce competition between Apple and Spotify as Apple doubles down on its entertainment business. The company acquired the “Netflix for digital magazines” earlier today, and it has also signed the creator of ‘Bob’s Burgers’ for a new original Apple show.

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Apple started shipping its new premium smart speaker last month, which works exclusively with its music streaming service. The company also hired singer Anderson .Paak for a new Apple Music-exclusive track to go along with its new 4-minute long HomePod ad starring FKA twigs and directed by Spike Jonze. And with Spotify set to go public in the coming weeks, the competition between both the music streaming service is something everyone in Silicon Valley will be closely watching.

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  • Stooks

    12 March, 2018 - 3:53 pm

    <p>I am not sure how Spotify is still alive. I have read multiple times in the past that they are burning through money super fast. I believe Apple Music passed Spotify in the US.</p>

    • bbold

      12 March, 2018 - 4:04 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#252488"><em>In reply to Stooks:</em></a></blockquote><p>I know how Spotify is still alive. Spotify has incredible playlist capabilities and social networking integrated into their app. Plus, the playlists they curate are amazing. I also subscribe to Apple Music and I find Beats 1 annoying rap fueled BS. Spotify has much more flexibility and the music they provide me and lead me to has all been amazing. Can't say the same for Apple Music. I currently have the $5 per month Spotify &amp; Hulu deal for students, and its an amazing bargain! Apple Music on the other hand is $5 for students and doesn't provide much else. The only reason people are flocking to Apple Music is the 'halo effect' of the iPhones they probably carry and the Macs they probably use.</p>

      • rbgaynor

        12 March, 2018 - 5:04 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#252491"><em>In reply to bbold:</em></a></blockquote><p><br></p><p>Really? Losses grew in 2017 to over 1/2 billion dollars. That's not surviving, that 's just waiting to run out of cash.</p><p><br></p>

      • lvthunder

        Premium Member
        12 March, 2018 - 5:07 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#252491"><em>In reply to bbold:</em></a></blockquote><p>Apple Music has good playlists and they recommend them all the time. There is more to Apple Music then just Beats1. They recommend to you 5 playlists per day based on the types of music you listen to.</p><p><br></p><p>You also didn't answer Stooks question. He's questioning how they are still alive financially not functionally.</p>

      • markatcristorey

        12 March, 2018 - 5:45 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#252491"><em>In reply to bbold:</em></a></blockquote><p>On the whole I agree about Apple Music's faults. I am an Apple Music subscriber and their various radio features are very poor. Beats1 seems to be HEAVILY skewed towards rap and hip-hop and very little else. I've personally not found anyone to do the whole "station" thing better than Pandora. It was much easier to curate a station to be just what you wanted there, while Apple Music's stations are very hard to "dial-in".</p><p><br></p><p>That said, I've recently discovered the various curated playlists, and those are pretty decent. It would seem that's the way forward in Apple Music land, rather than the whole "play more like this" method.</p>

    • rameshthanikodi

      12 March, 2018 - 6:10 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#252488"><em>In reply to Stooks:</em></a></blockquote><p>The financials of Apple Music is unclear as well, Apple never discloses how much they're making/losing on it, they either group it with their online services business or content business. Honestly, Apple makes so much fucking money selling iPhones they could shit out anything and still balance their sheets.</p><p><br></p><p>Anyway, the reason Spotify is alive is basically the same way many other modern tech companies like Uber, Twitter, Amazon (at one point) remain alive despite losses. Investors don't care about burning through cash, neither do they care about how much cash companies have in hand. They only care about growth, and how much money Spotify can potentially make. As long as Spotify posts growth, investors will keep coming. Basically, Spotify is being seen as the test for the market size for music streaming. No one yet knows what the market size of streaming services is. As long as Spotify's subscriber base expands, investors will continue to look at tapping into what appears to be a ever-growing large market. Once user growth levels off, like what happened to Twitter, investors will want to see Spotify translate their market foothold into profitability, at which point it is assumed that the money that will be made with 100+million users will be more than the cash that they're burning through now to get there.</p>

      • lvthunder

        Premium Member
        12 March, 2018 - 7:12 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#252565"><em>In reply to FalseAgent:</em></a></blockquote><p>I'm not really sure what Spotify could do to monetize once the growth slows.</p>

        • rameshthanikodi

          12 March, 2018 - 7:37 pm

          <blockquote><a href="#252572"><em>In reply to lvthunder:</em></a></blockquote><p>They could raise prices like Netflix, especially their family plan. They could also cut better deals with record labels with their increased leverage – they've already done so once. They can also monetize their free users more by either charging advertisers more or increasing advertising to users.</p><p><br></p><p>Lastly, they can also cut costs, right now they're spending more and more on content like exclusive album releases and music videos, product development like hardware APIs, and marketing on expensive billboards like all their Times Square stuff. Theoretically they could slash all of these costs to become profitable right now, but they aren't willing to. </p>

        • thisisdonovan

          13 March, 2018 - 5:08 pm

          <blockquote><a href="#252572"><em>In reply to lvthunder:</em></a></blockquote><p>Charge more?</p><p>Hopefully not. </p>

  • darkgrayknight

    Premium Member
    12 March, 2018 - 4:50 pm

    <p>From what I've read, Spotify is still ahead of Apple Music. Spotify is the paid service I've used. If someone mentions a song, I nearly always find it on Spotify and can play it right away.</p>

    • irfaanwahid

      13 March, 2018 - 8:12 am

      <blockquote><a href="#252513"><em>In reply to darkgrayknight:</em></a></blockquote><p>It maybe ahead of Apple Music, but it's not available worldwide. What I like about Apple products and services that they release products worldwide. Apple Music is available in Kenya, and that's what matters to me.</p>

  • mattbg

    Premium Member
    12 March, 2018 - 5:06 pm

    <p>Does anyone know if Apple makes money off Apple Music? You’d think that they may, given their diversification and ability to absorb or spread certain costs, but given that Spotify loses so much despite being the market leader, I’m curious…</p>

    • mrdrwest

      12 March, 2018 - 5:21 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#252530"><em>In reply to mattbg:</em></a></blockquote><p>Spock brow…</p>

    • lvthunder

      Premium Member
      12 March, 2018 - 7:10 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#252530"><em>In reply to mattbg:</em></a></blockquote><p>They lump Apple Music in with services which makes a ton of money. So the public doesn't know for sure, but I would guess they either make a little or break even.</p>

    • Igor Engelen

      13 March, 2018 - 9:28 am

      <blockquote><a href="#252530"><em>In reply to mattbg:</em></a></blockquote><p>I'm paying 14,99€ /month for a family subscription so I'm guessing they don't make a whole lot of money per user but thanks to the number of subscribers it adds up nicely ofcourse.</p>

  • Lars lalaa

    12 March, 2018 - 7:18 pm

    <p>The bottom line Apple is capable of creating a successful consumer service. The numbers are pretty impressive for 2.5 years. Spotify is out way longer and other companies tried (MS, Google) and never came close. Looking forward when Apple does the same with movies and tv shows. They signed couple of people; I expect them to enter next year.&nbsp;</p>

    • Tony Barrett

      13 March, 2018 - 1:40 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#252573"><em>In reply to Nessie:</em></a></blockquote><p>Many iPhone owners just can't be bothered to look anywhere else, and Apple don't help by the way they have an iron grip control of everything. The litterally make it difficult to use any other service, so those Apple owners just toe the line, sign up and hand them yet more cash.</p>

      • thisisdonovan

        13 March, 2018 - 5:05 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#252786"><em>In reply to ghostrider:</em></a></blockquote><p>It's not hard for apple users to use any other streaming service is it? I have no idea what you're talking about. I'm up to bash apple as much as the next thurrott reader, but those numbers are quite impressive given the context. </p>

      • Lars lalaa

        13 March, 2018 - 5:07 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#252786"><em>In reply to ghostrider:</em></a></blockquote><p>Have you ever owned an iPhone? I do and what you say is simply not true. Other music services are top notch on iOS (apps are better than on Android btw) and I’ve never experienced Apple pushing me into Apple Music. Other than Android where you get pushed from Google to every service, everywhere plops Chrome up “please use Chrome” “It’s better with Chrome” In the play store Play Music advertisement 24/7.&nbsp;I think the only thing you referring to is HomePod and so far it’s only supported by Apple Music (at least for voice commands, AirPlay is working for everything) However, the HomePod isn’t a major success and it’ll get and need some updates anyway. &nbsp;Apple gives other developers opportunities to shine inside of their ecosystem. That’s why the platform is so successful. </p>

  • wocowboy

    Premium Member
    13 March, 2018 - 6:29 am

    <p>The growth rate of Apple Music in the US is 5% versus 2% for Spotify, therefore Apple Music is supposed to surpass Spotify's paid subscriber number before the end of the year in the US. Since the salient statement in the article is that "Apple Music is still falling behind Spotify", it is important to include the fact that Apple Music is not falling behind Spotify in the US, which implies that it is losing subscribers to Spotify or not signing up new customers as fast, which is not the case. World-wide, Spofity's numbers are much larger of course, but those include places where Apple Music either is not available or where Apple has less market presence. </p>

  • Tony Barrett

    13 March, 2018 - 7:34 am

    <p>The only reason Apple see this much success on their music streaming platform is because of their iron re-enforced walled garden ecosystem. They make it very easy to access Apple Music on all their devices, and very awkward to use anyone elses. If you're 'all in' on Apple, I guess it makes sense. On Android, you have a lot more choice, so it's more of a diverse platform. They keyword here is choice, which many like, but it's not a word in Apple's dictionary.</p>

    • curtisspendlove

      14 March, 2018 - 5:01 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#252617"><em>In reply to ghostrider:</em></a></blockquote><p>Actually Apple Music is a pretty excellent music service. For instance, for my music genres of choice (heavy metal and country) it is excellent at building playlists. It is second only to Google Play Music (I would rank Spotify as a distant third). </p><p><br></p><p>That said, I agree with your overall premise that it is better when one uses primary Apple devices. I don’t think Apple Music is superior on non-Apple devices. </p><p><br></p><p>I actually prefer it, personally. But our family is mostly Android devices, so I run a family subscription to Google Play Music (which is quite good as well—just suffers a bit in implementation on my Apple devices, but that is primarily Apple’s fault). </p>

  • cawfehman

    Premium Member
    13 March, 2018 - 8:34 am

    <p>I wonder if these numbers include those with a free trial…</p>

  • dcdevito

    13 March, 2018 - 8:38 am

    <p>Of course. See: Why IE was a popular browser. </p>

  • dallasnorth40

    Premium Member
    13 March, 2018 - 9:28 am

    <p>After the end of Groove, I went with Amazon Prime Music since I was already a Prime Member. If Apple Music and Spotify are better, it can't be by much.</p>

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