Spotify may be in the lead when it comes to paid streaming subscribers, but Apple Music is closing the gap fast. The company announced last week during its presentation at the World Wide Developers Conference that its streaming service is now up to 27 million users. Spotify still leads the pack with 50 million, but Apple has come a long way in a short amount of time.
Considering that Apple Music only had 13 million subscribers at this time last year, its growth is impressive. Add to the fact that the service is only 2 years old, and Spotify is 11, and it shows you that even though there may be a gap between Spotify’s 50 million users and Apple Music’s 27, that gap is smaller than you think.
In addition, Apple wants to differentiate its service from the rest of the pack by creating original content, and it debuted a new show recently called Planet of the Apps. This is thought to be the first of much new content to come from the company, and speculation is that in the future its possible that it may spend as much as $10 billion a year in that area. Of course, it has extremely deep pockets compared to Spotify, who could never match that kind of spending even should its IPO happen later this year, as speculated.
Remember that Apple Music is basically a rounding error to the bottom line of Apple, and that most of its money comes from elsewhere, an advantage that Spotify doesn’t enjoy. Likewise, Google and Amazon play in the same game, as music is just a small piece (and a very small piece at that) of what they do. That’s why its so difficult for a company like Spotify (or TIDAL or Deezer, for that matter) to compete. The scale, marketing budget, and endless supply of cash as needed just isn’t there.
Look for Apple Music to continue to grow, as will Spotify, but next year the gap between the two will be far closer.