Apple Music is about to overtake Spotify in the US

  • Apple Music, which has been growing faster than Spotify in the US, is set to overtake the leading music-streaming service later this year.
  • The US figures, however, are not representative of worldwide trends, where Spotify leads with almost twice as many paying subscribers.
  • A person told The Wall Street Journal that Apple Music had more users enrolled in its pre-subscription trial period, but Spotify still counts a large number of monthly users who choose to listen for free with ads.

Apple’s music-subscription service is high on the heels of Spotify, and it’s likely to overtake it in the US.

A report from The Wall Street Journal on Sunday says Apple Music has been increasing its monthly subscribers at a much faster pace than its Swedish rival: 5% versus 2%.

With this growth rate, Apple Music is on track to count more US-based paying subscribers than Spotify by the summer.

The US is not a representative market, as worldwide figures show Spotify has almost twice as many subscribers. As of January, Spotify had 70 million to Apple Music’s 36 million paying subscribers, the report says.

Music labels are also interested in how many people have signed up for free or deeply discounted trials, which are designed to lead to paid subscriptions. The Journal describes a person familiar with the figures as saying Apple Music has “three to four times” the number of such users as Spotify.

Unlike Spotify, Apple Music does not have an ad-based free-tier option – though it has an automatic three-month free period at the beginning of each subscription, which most likely inflates its number of subscribers.

Revenue for Apple’s services arm, which includes Apple Music, was up 18% in the company’s latest quarter. Meanwhile, Spotify has signalled it is looking to go public later this year.

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