“Apple is turning up the volume on Apple Music, the streaming subscription that comes loaded on its devices, including the new HomePod smart speaker. But that could mute the potential of Spotify, the independent music subscription service that aims to go public this year,” Steven Zeitchik reports for The Washington Post. “‘We are at an inflection point in digital music,’ said Lloyd Greif, who runs Greif & Co., a Los Angeles-based investment company specialized in entertainment and media. ‘If Spotify doesn’t make a move, Apple could be dominating within 12 months. Apple is coming for them and they can’t stand still.'”

“As of late 2017, Spotify had 18.2 million subscribers in the U.S. compared to Apple Music’s 15 million, according to Billboard. Both charge $9.99 monthly for their primary service,” Zeitchik reports. “Apple is gaining on Spotify. According to a Wall Street Journal story, Apple currently has a 5 percent monthly growth rate in paid U.S. subscribers compared to 2 percent for its chief competitor. If that holds, Apple will surpass the Swedish firm by summer — especially salient given Spotify’s plans for a U.S. IPO in the coming months.”

“Apple Music works far more easily on HomePod, which debuted Friday, than other music streamers. That both incentivizes people to buy HomePod and, maybe more importantly, gives consumers who have HomePod reason to sign up for the service,” Zeitchik reports. “Unlike video, where streaming giants such as Netflix and Amazon can boast very different content, music offerings are largely similar. Apple has an extremely large library of about 45 million songs, but Spotify still has 30 million songs, sufficient for most users.”

MacDailyNews Take: Spotify. For those who settle for “sufficient.”

You’d have to be stupid to subscribe to Spotify when it has 33% fewer tracks than Apple Music for the same price. Apple Music boasts a catalog of 45 million songs; Spotify has a mere subset of just 30 million. Don’t be stupid. If you’re still subscribing to Spotify, it’s past time for you to cancel it and upgrade to Apple Music. (See also: How to move your Spotify playlists to Apple Music.)MacDailyNews, February 6, 2017

“With the number of streaming subscribers in the U.S. currently estimated at lower than 50 million, many new customers are still up for grabs. Data from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners show that comparatively few Americans now pay for streaming services — no more than 13 percent of iPhone users subscribe to any single service,” Zeitchik reports. ““We’re in the late innings of early adoption,” said NYU’s Miller. ‘There’s a lot of room for these companies to grow — or fail.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple was always going to beat the likes of Spotify, Pandora, etc.

Simple mathematics makes it blatantly obvious what’s going to happen to Pandora.MacDailyNews, September 24, 2013

Apple Music has rendered Spotify’s future decidedly dimmer.

The best customers are those who pay. As demonstrated by years of data, form disparate sources, those paying customers are also significantly more likely to be iPhone owners than those who’ve settled for poor iPhone facsimiles. A healthy portion of these coveted customers will leave for Apple’s comprehensive offering which offers better family rates, more music, likely exclusives, and seamless integration across all Apple devices. It’ll even work with crappy Windows PCs and Android phones eventually (not that those are likely to be Spotify’s paying customers, but whatever, some of them will join Apple Music and maybe even graduate to Apple devices because of it).

Spotify could quickly be left with an unprofitable system, with a dwindling music library because they cannot afford to pay music royalties. — MacDailyNews, June 9, 2015

Spotify is a poor man’s Apple Music. The demographics in this race, as ever, greatly favor Apple in the long run. — MacDailyNews, January 3, 2018

Apple Music was always going to win – February 6, 2018
Apple Music on track to overtake Spotify, become No. 1 streaming service in U.S. this summer – February 4, 2018
Apple Music and Spotify now account for the majority of music consumption in the UK – January 3, 2018
Spotify files for its IPO – January 3, 2018
Spotify hit with $1.6 billion lawsuit from music publisher – January 2, 2018
Watch out Spotify and Apple Music, here comes Amazon – December 18, 2017
Spotify leads call for investigation into ‘troubling’ Apple and Google app store practices – May 5, 2017
Apple Music passes Pandora and Spotify in mobile usage – March 29, 2017
Spotify hits 50 million paid subscribers – March 3, 2017
Apple Music surpasses 20 million paid members 17 months after launch – December 6, 2016
Oh ok, Spotify listeners are upgrading to Apple Music – July 19, 2015
Spotify CEO claims to be ‘ok’ with Apple Music – June 9, 2015

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz,” “Arline M.” and “Whit D.” for the heads up.]