For all of Apple’s resources and marketing might, Apple Music still can’t quite catch up to Spotify.
Apple announced this week that Music is now up to 27 million subscribers a couple years into its existence. But as this chart from Statista shows, Spotify has consistently kept its user growth up, with 50 million paid subscribers at last check.
That gap may be a problem for Apple’s next hardware product, the HomePod. While the new smart home speaker seems to sound superior to the competition, it’s not yet clear if it will be fully integrated with streaming services beyond Apple Music. That could leave a significant potential audience out in the cold; and it could force those users to turn to the Amazon Echo or the Google Home speakers instead.
Then again, Apple’s business has always been more about margins than massive scale — the precise opposite of Amazon and Google — so Apple might feel that nudging people toward its Apple Music service is worth the risk. Either way, the company is hoping the launch of new original shows will allow Music to finally gain some ground.