Apple Music are definitely closing on Spotify, but they’re safe for now

Since launching in 2015 Apple Music have often been viewed as the main contender for Spotify’s crown in music streaming.

At the end of 2018 it looked like the gap between Apple Music and Spotify’s subscribers was rapidly closing. It’s been almost 4 years since Apple Music launched and they have seen exponential growth whilst Spotify have been steadily adding to their already giant audience – putting the services head to head in the race for number one in Western music streaming.

In early December Apple Music reported that they have 56 million subscribers after reaching 50 million that summer. Spotify’s latest numbers before that showed that they have 80 million paying subscribers around the world, a vast lead but considering they’ve been around for over 10 years Apple’s growth is considerably higher.

Looking at a new graph from Statista it shows that Apple Music’s extreme growth is mostly in the US. When looking at worldwide statistics Spotify’s growth is shown to be accelerating quicker than Apple’s still. The stats for December 2018 show 50 million subscribers on Apple Music and 96 million subscribers on Spotify around the world.

In addition Spotify offer a free streaming tier that Apple doesn’t. Whilst it’s less profitable it means that overall Spotify have many more users on their streaming platform. Late last year the number of Free and Premium users looked to have narrowed to nearly 50/50 with the majority being free users – meaning almost 200 million overall users.

That certainly casts a shadow over Apple Music’s user-count. Regardless they are both massive services and 2019 will probably see them continue to grow in tandem – though Apple are beginning to encroach in the United States.

Head of Social Media and Marketing, RouteNote

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