Apple Music now has more paying subscribers in the U.S. than Spotify

“Apple Music has more paying subscribers in the United States than Spotify, according to confidential details shared with Digital Music News this morning,” Paul Resnikoff reports for Digital Music News.

“The source, a US-based, major distributor, shared a report detailing the subscriber tallies of several streaming music services, including Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, and Sirius XM,” Resnikoff reports. “That report now ranks Apple Music as first in the United States, at least among primarily on-demand music streaming services (Sirius XM Satellite Radio, which operates in North America exclusively, has more than 33 million subscribers).”

“Both Apple Music and Spotify have more than 20 million subscribers in America, with Apple now a hair ahead. The source requested that we withhold exact subscriber numbers beyond mentioning ’20 million plus,’ to protect confidentiality,” Resnikoff reports. “The data for 2018 also shows that Apple is experiencing a far stronger rate-of-growth in the United States, suggesting a wider lead over the coming months. Trial users were not part of the comparison.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple Music has rendered Spotify’s future decidedly dimmer.

The best customers are those who pay. As demonstrated by years of data, from 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

Tastemaker George Ergatoudis leaves Spotify to join Apple Music – June 14, 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
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


  1. And Android is on more mobile devices than iOS. Unit volume is a dead metric. Customer demographic is far more important, and iOS users spend more, buy more than Android users. End of argument.

    1. Unit volume is not a dead metric. Wall Street routinely uses market share percentage as an important metric to measure value. I feel certain that Spotify is valued higher than AppleMusic based on overall subscriber numbers despite AppleMusic likely drawing higher profitability numbers. Wall Street always seems to believe that the more subscribers a company has the more valuable it is. Netflix is a prime example of that. If someone mentions Netflix can gain X more subscribers, the share price jumps by leaps and bounds and that has absolutely nothing to do with outright company profitability. More subscribers doesn’t change Netflix’s package model to make more profits.

      Take iPhone sales. It should be a given that an iPhone generates more profit for Apple than any Android smartphone could but yet there is always the same emphasis of unit sales numbers. Apple is always expected to sell more iPhones than Samsung’s flagship phones.

      AppleMusic won’t be given credibility until all their global subscriber numbers surpass Spotify’s global subscriber numbers. That’s just how the news media will see it.

      I want AppleMusic to succeed but not at the expense of Spotify’s failure. I just happen to think balancing the books is far more important than some talk about unlimited subscriber growth. I just want AppleMusic to be given a fair assessment as a services success. I can’t wait until Apple starts bundling its individual services into neat packages.

    2. Since you are arguing with yourself then yes, I guess it has ended.

      MY point was the best seller is not necessarily the best choice for everyone.

      End of argument….

  2. Clearly Apple is going to dominate in this area. Apple is just competing with Spotify – as Apple customers want easy to use quality services. Spotify a favorite of the Android and “widget” crowds has to compete with Pandora, Google “whatever”, Youtube Premium, Amazon Music, Microsoft “whatever”, Wal-Mart “whatever” AND Apple Music. Everyone is trying to get a piece of Spotify’s lower end base while Apple keeps moving along.

  3. Worldwide Spotify has 160 million users with 70 million paid accounts and Apple has 45 million so this race is far from over.
    Ultimately competion will make it so all music streaming services must either rise to the occasion or be left behind. With the consumers being the real winners.

  4. I find it mystifying people crave 4K and someday 8K video resolution, yet are satisfied with crappy audio files from all of these services. Who cares which one dominates, they all deliver an inferior product.

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