“After a slow start in streaming, music industry executives say Apple is gaining confidence, making acquisitions and forging partnerships that are likely to fuel further growth,” Anna Nicolaou and Tim Bradshaw report for Financial Times. “The number of Apple Music subscribers has grown to 56m, up from 50m in May, according to industry insiders.”

“Apple is starting to close the gap with Spotify. According to music industry executives who have seen the latest figures, Apple Music recently overtook Spotify to become the top music streaming service in the US, the world’s biggest music market by revenues,” Nicolaou and Bradshaw report. “On Friday, the company surprised investors by announcing that Apple Music will be available on Amazon’s Alexa-powered Echo devices before Christmas. Amazon’s Echo competes directly with Apple’s HomePod smart speaker, and the tie-up marks the first time that Apple’s streaming service can be controlled by a virtual assistant other than Siri.”

“News that the company is considering a deal with radio group iHeartMedia, which was first reported by the Financial Times last month, also caught investors off guard. The Silicon Valley company that put a smartphone in hundreds of millions of pockets is turning to one of the oldest forms of listening to increase its influence on the music industry: terrestrial radio,” Nicolaou and Bradshaw report. “According to people familiar with the negotiations, Apple has considered buying a stake in the radio group, as well as signing a marketing or promotional partnership. It could also acquire iHeartRadio’s streaming platform, with its 120m registered users.”

Apple's HomePod

Apple’s HomePod


 
“Last week, over the Thanksgiving holiday and ‘Black Friday’ shopping frenzy,” Nicolaou and Bradshaw report, “HomePod sales had their best week since its launch in February, Apple said on Friday.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Terrestrial radio is the gateway drug to music subscription services.

It’s nice to see Apple getting aggressive in music again after a whole lot of nothing under Jimmy Iovine, the consummate bullshit artist.

SEE ALSO:
Apple Music comes to Amazon Echo smart speakers starting December 17th – November 30, 2018
Apple slashes MacBook and MacBook Pro prices by up to $300 on Amazon – November 20, 2018
Amazon strikes deal with Apple to sell new iPhones, iPads, and more worldwide – November 9, 2018
Apple in preliminary talks to take stake in U.S. radio company iHeartMedia – November 1, 2018
Apple Music’s Beats 1 opens NYC studio – October 23, 2018
Apple Music continues to take share from Spotify – September 25, 2018
Why Apple Music surpassed Spotify in the U.S. – July 12, 2018
Apple slices into Spotify’s lead in U.S. music market – July 9, 2018
Apple Music now has more paying subscribers in the U.S. than Spotify – July 6, 2018
Apple revs up their own music publishing business – June 14, 2018
Oliver Schusser named new Apple Music chief as service passes 40 million subscribers – April 11, 2018
Apple Music hits 40 million paid subscribers milestone – April 4, 2018
Apple Music hits 38 million paid subscribers – March 12, 2018
Jimmy Iovine plans exit from Apple – March 21, 2018
Apple Music expands student membership pricing to 82 new countries – February 13, 2018
Apple Music poised to knock off Spotify – February 12, 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
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