Apple Music took 21% share in paid music subscription market in Q220

Apple Music took 21% share in paid music subscription market in Q220, Counterpoint research finds. Global online music streaming revenues declined 2% QoQ but grew 13% YoY in Q2 2020 at $6.7 billion, according to the latest Counterpoint Research findings. This is the first-ever QoQ decline in terms of revenues as music streaming has been gaining strength with every passing quarter. Paid subscriptions grew 29% YoY compared to 35% YoY in the Q1.

Research Analyst Abhilash Kumar said in a statement, “The growth slowed down in Q2 and, for the first time, the revenues declined sequentially. There are a couple of reasons for the same. The music streaming platforms offered discounts and lowered prices for paid subscriptions to retain consumers or to prevent them shifting to a free plan. Also, advertisement revenues saw a dip since many companies cut expenditure in view of COVID-19. However, podcasts related to different genres were able to keep people glued, offsetting some of the decline.”

In terms of monthly active users (MAUs), Tencent Music (with its subsidiaries QQ Music, Kuwo and Kugou) led the chart in Q2 2020 with 26% share, followed by Spotify and YouTube Music with 12% and 10% shares, respectively. However, in terms of paid subscriptions, Spotify continued to lead with 34% share, followed by Apple Music (21%) and Amazon Music (15%).

Global Music Streaming Paid Subscriptions by Brand Share — Q2 2020

Kumar added, “The social media platform and free availability of music help Tencent Music maintain the No. 1 spot in terms of MAUs. For similar reasons, YouTube Music is also among the top three. Strong brand presence, attractive offerings, continuous product improvisation and focus on podcasts have helped Spotify. Apple Music’s free six-month subscription offering in 52 countries helped maintain its share.”

The music streaming industry was almost immune to the ill-effects of COVID-19 in Q1. In fact, the streaming hours increased as people stayed at home. Starting Q2, the market witnessed a slowdown in growth, driven by sequential decline in both paid and ad-based revenues. Starting June-end, the growth is slowly coming back on track. We believe the growth will be back to pre-COVID-19 levels by Q4 2020.

Our in-depth ‘Global Online Music Streaming Market Tracker, Q2 2020’ can be downloaded here.

MacDailyNews Take: Comparing to Counterpoint’s calendar year 2019, you can see Apple Music is growing and the most rapidly, too:
Global Music Streaming Paid Subscriptions by Brand Share — CY 2019

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


  1. What puzzles me is how Spotify’s EPS is a -7.63 and the stock continues to climb. Honestly, that doesn’t make a lick of sense to me. For some reason, investors think Spotify is going to be profitable despite not being profitable for many years. Don’t misunderstand, I don’t want to see Spotify go out of business, but why is Spotify stock so expensive. I would think a fair valuation of Spotify would be half of what it is. Do investors think the ad-tier is going to make Spotify profitable? If AppleMusic had a negative EPS I’m quite sure there would be plenty of analysts shouting that it was a huge failure despite Apple basically using software to sell hardware. Spotify needs to be profitable with streaming music and podcasts because it doesn’t have any other business. Spotify and analysts can boast all they want about Spotify having greater market share than AppleMusic, but that’s barely paying the bills.

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