Apple Music overtakes Spotify in paid U.S. subscribers

“Apple Music has surpassed Spotify Technology SA in paid U.S. subscriptions, according to people familiar with the matter, in a shift that escalates the music rivals’ contest for listeners world-wide,” Anne Steele and Tripp Mickle report for The Wall Street Journal. “Apple Inc.’s streaming-music service has been adding subscribers in the world’s biggest music market more rapidly than its Swedish rival — a monthly growth rate of about 2.6% to 3%, compared with 1.5% to 2% for Spotify — the people said.”

“Apple Music had more than 28 million subscribers in the U.S. as of February, compared with Spotify’s 26 million, the people said,” Steele and Mickle report. “Apple was expected to reach its milestone more than six months ago, but Spotify intensified efforts to maintain its lead, expanding various promotions including a discounted subscription bundle with video-streaming service Hulu. ”

“As of December, Spotify said it had 207 million active users around the world, 96 million of whom are paying subscribers or in a trial period leading to a subscription. The rest of Spotify’s active users have opted for a free, ad-supported version of the service,” Steele and Mickle report. “Apple, which doesn’t offer a free, ad-supported option, has more than 50 million paying subscribers… Apple Music is growing faster globally — at a rate of about 2.4% to 2.8%, compared with Spotify’s 2% to 2.3% — and the gap is starting to close in other markets outside the U.S., according to the people familiar with the numbers.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: After a bit of an early call by some, it was only a matter of time.

BTW: You’d have to be stupid to subscribe to Spotify when it has 40% fewer tracks than Apple Music for the same price. Apple Music boasts a catalog of 50 million songs; Spotify has just 30 million. 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.)

Apple Music comes to Amazon Alexa in the UK with new skill update – April 4, 2019
Apple: Spotify wants all the benefits of a free app without being free – March 15, 2019
Apple publicly addresses Spotify’s claims – March 15, 2019
Increasingly desperate Spotify demands a free ride from Apple’s App Store – March 14, 2019
Spotify’s Apple Music complaint was a near decade in the making – March 13, 2019
Spotify files EU antitrust complaint against Apple – March 13, 2019
Samsung to preinstall Spotify on phones – March 8, 2019
Streaming services led by Apple Music account for 75 percent of the U.S. recording industry’s revenue – March 1, 2019
Apple Music now leads Spotify in the U.S., the No. 1 recorded music market – December 31, 2018


  1. There was a reason Jobs selected Cook to carry on the business of Apple. Cook is no Jobs but who is?

    My take is that Cook has an innate ability to see both manufacturing connections and product synergies. His skill sets are distinct from the founder but impressive nonetheless.

    Blind spots? Sure. Who doesn’t have them.

    1. Cook’s blind spots are the Apple product line. His soft focus is on phablet IPhones, thin disposable (non upgradeable) laptops, obsolete ‘new’ iMacs, and ignoring Pro machines.
      His strengths appear to be services, emojis, and selfie related stuff.
      Services will fail without a strong product line. Tick Tock

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