Apple Music close on Spotify with 56 million subscribers

Apple Music have been chasing Spotify’s numbers since they launched 3 and a half years ago and they’re getting closer with each subscriber announcement.

The latest numbers for Apple Music have been revealed in a new Financial Times article, revealing that Apple Music now reportedly have 56 million subscribers. The report comes after CEO Tim Cook confirmed that their streaming service had reached 50 million subscribers earlier this summer.

The new stat puts Apple even closer to Spotify in number of paying subscribers, whilst Spotify still hold a large lead in overall users thanks to their popular free streaming option. Spotify have been pushing for conversion from free streaming to Premium more and more and it’s beginning to pay off as a report in late October showed that Spotify were nearly 50/50 with free to Premium listeners.

Apple Music doesn’t offer a free streaming option, however they do offer a period of streaming for free to new users, and whilst they are a long way off of matching Spotify’s overall users they are very close to matching paid subs. In July earlier this year anonymous sources claimed that Apple Music had already surpassed Spotify for paying subscribers in the US. Whilst a report by the Financial Times claimed that “music industry insiders who are privy to the data” expect Apple to have 3 million more paid subscribers than Spotify by the end of the year.

The last numbers for Spotify in July showed 80 million paying subscribers around the world and 180 million overall monthly users. Apple Music still have a way to go to match Spotify’s worldwide presence but conversion rates for Spotify are roughly 0.24% whilst Apple Music have almost triple that with 0.64% uptake of subscribers.

Apple’s streaming service has significantly increased in quality since it’s launch as well, which some executives explain is the reason that Apple hasn’t already beaten Spotify for the top spot in Western streaming. An unnamed senior major label executive said: “Apple stumbled out of the gate with an inferior product 3 years ago. Apple Music did not become this spectacular product like iTunes was.”

Next year will no doubt be a highly competitive year for streaming, particularly between Spotify and Apple as their gap gets smaller every month.

Head of Social Media and Marketing, RouteNote

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