Apple’s Eddie Cue, SVP, Services shares that the company has amassed 60 million followers.
Even though Apple is moving upwards at a reasonable rate, the company keeps plugging different stats to mark its skyward trajectory.
Cue clarified that the 60 million number includes both paying customers and those on free trial accounts. That means the streaming service had accumulated about 20% overall since May 2018, when Apple cited 50 million total users (paid plus free).
Since the launch of Apple Music in June 2015, there is no clear idea about how many customers does Apple currently have.
That being said, Apple continues to dawdle Spotify, who is the global market leader in the music-streaming subscription business, which reported 100 million paid subs as of the end of the first quarter of 2019. Spotify said it had 217 million total users (paid and free) as of Q1, up 26% year over year.
Apple in September plans to launch macOS X 10.15 ‘Catalina’, in which the iTunes software application will exit from the Mac and replaced with a dedicated app for Apple Music (which will manage songs that users have purchased, downloaded or ripped from CDs), Apple TV and Apple Podcasts. The iTunes Store will continue to offer online music purchases.
While in iOS 13 for iPhones, Apple Music will include time-synced lyrics which acts like a karaoke function. Cue pointed out that Apple employees had inputted these lyrics themselves, rather than using a third-party company.
Apple is still well slow-moving compared to Spotify globally, but there are a couple of areas in the market where it’s ahead. Cue revealed that Apple Music is the No. 1 streaming service in the Apple ecosystem. So, if you own an iPhone, it’s more likely that you subscribe to Apple Music than Spotify.
That’s in line with the second market where Apple is ahead: the United States. The iPhone is much more prevalent domestically than it is in the rest of the world. It has a more than 50% share of the U.S. market, but less than a 25% share globally.
Apple’s subscriber numbers in the U.S. surpassed Spotify’s in February.
It makes sense that Apple Music is favourite on its own devices. It’s able to provide deeper integration with Siri and the rest of the operating system, which creates a better user experience. The company doesn’t have that same advantage on Android or other mobile operating systems.
One of the significant gains for Apple Music is that numerous people now associate music listening with their smartphones, particularly the iPhone. The smartphone is often regarded as the primary listening device, which means a service that plays nicely with the smartphone will gain adoption.
Apple Music has a critical hurdle to overcome before it can hope to pass Spotify globally. Right now, it mostly appeals to Apple hardware owners. Despite partnerships with wireless carriers and other service providers to promote it on Android devices too, that perception of the service as being primarily part of the Apple ecosystem persists among consumers.
However, as Apple looks to remodel itself into more of a subscription services company with several new high profile launches coming this year, it might be able to shift that understanding. It might be ready to bundle subscriptions and encourage customers who join its forthcoming video service to subscribe to Apple Music as well. If Apple can convince non-iOS users to give its services a try, it stands a good chance of overtaking Spotify. That won’t be easy, in any case.