Why Apple Music surpassed Spotify in the U.S.

“Apple Music may still be tens of millions of paid subscribers behind Spotify in the global market, but the company now has more paying users in the most lucrative streaming nation of them all,” Parker Hall writes for Digital Trends. “That’s right: Apple’s on-demand streaming service is now besting the Swedes with over 20 million subscribers in the United States, according to a recent report from Digital Music News.”

“A key part of [Apple]’s strategy has been a steady flow of partnerships involving blockbuster releases by big-name artists. In particular, Apple has done well to join forces with household names in the world of rap, hip-hop, and R&B — which make up over one-third of music streams in the United States, according to Neilsen Music,” Hall writes. “Drake, Frank Ocean, Chance The Rapper, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, and others have all signed deals for album releases via Apple Music at one time or another, either giving subscribers earlier access to their new music, or offering it exclusively to those who pay for Apple Music, though the exclusivity tact has become less common in recent years.”

“Beyond offering listeners earlier access to their favorite artists’ new material, Apple Music has made a name for itself among die-hard fans by offering them access to artists via its popular Beats One radio service. A huge cast of cult-beloved musicians like Drake, Frank Ocean, Pharell, Ryan Adams, Deadmau5, and more have radio shows on Beats One,” Hall writes. “Tt’s easy to see why those who are at home inside Apple’s ecosystem would pick Apple Music over its competitors. After all, if you already own an iPhone and a Mac, there’s probably no reason that you wouldn’t try Apple Music first… Recent reports say that Apple Music may outpace Spotify by as many as three million paid subscribers in the United States by the end of 2018.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:

Daniel Ek, CEO of Spotify, upon seeing Apple Music unveiled
Daniel Ek, CEO of Spotify, upon seeing Apple Music unveiled

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
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. Apple Music was the first (and is the only) streaming service I ever used. I’m satisfied. Although, I would like to see Apple expand their catalog with rare remixes.

  2. Maybe so many people subscribe to it because the Music app constantly nags them to?

    When I used it after the initial rollout it tagged so much of MY music as Apple’s that after the three month trial was over a lot of my library didn’t work, then after that was fixed I couldn’t keep JUST stored music on my iPhone because it would constantly show stuff that would end up streaming no matter what the settings which would burn up my (then) limited DATA (I had a work phone also so my iPhone was mainly for music and personal email/text).

    Anyhow I’m sure it has improved but I still prefer the music service I use for higher bit streaming at home and it’s local storage options.

  3. Yeh, but just look at Spotify’s share price of nearly $190 with an EPS of -9.19. Spotify stock jumped nearly 4% today. These are things I really don’t understand. I’m willing to bet AppleMusic isn’t valued as high as Spotify, despite being more profitable. Spotify has never been profitable yet the stock value continues to steadily climb. Go figure.

    I’m not belittling Spotify and I hope they do well but I’m simply puzzled how a money-losing business generates such easy wealth for investors. What exactly is so special about Spotify that would suddenly turn it into a profitable business to warrant such a high stock price?

    1. You have made the incorrect assumption that people make investment decisions based on sound financial information. In reality, the stock market is simply nothing more than legalized gambling.

  4. I see it differently, I see the service succeeding with little to no advertising of any benefits it has over Spotify. if any, I subscribe and maybe the in-app nagging as above helped gain subscribers, but it wouldn’t hurt to advertise cool features, how about along with the home pod, but Apples to cool for school and never advertises. How about a better music video component, go head to head with YouTube? (should have happened years ago) It always feels like catch up, and that from the company that harnessed the MP3…. with IPod…

    Now pretty much obsolete. Apple is also very picky about what artists they even have on Itunes. Why? who are they? it should be open to any musicians.

    They’ll land on their typical 10% market share, They’ll say it’s the right demo, the ones with money.. really? all kids listen to music… My kids are on YouTube all day… never even think of Apple Music, They don’t even know it exists.

    1. I’ll second your last point. I bought a Apple Music family pack subscription thinking everyone would love it. My wife listens to Pandora, My 30-year old son uses Spotify, my 41-year old daughter listens everything but Apple Music, and my 12 & 14 year old granddaughters use YouTube for music.

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