In what many consider a stunning revelation, it’s been reported that Apple Music actually has surpassed Spotify in paid subscribers in the United States. Apparently both gone past the 20 million mark, with Apple Music now slightly out in front.
If you’d have polled a group of music insiders about subscriber levels a year ago, few would have predicted that Apple would have overtaken Spotify so quickly. That said, it was reported by the Wall Street Journal at the beginning of the year that Apple Music’s growth rate in the U.S. was at 5%, compared to Spotify’s 2%.
Spotify still leads in global subscriptions at around 75 million while Apple Music recently broke 50 million.Â When it comes to total music subscribers in the U.S. though, Sirius XMÂ satellite radio leads them all with 33 million, although most of that is due to the close integration and the captive audience of the car. Plus, the service isn’t portable or on-demand like most other streaming platforms.
When it comes to global streaming, it’s totally dominated by 4 services, according to industry analyst Mark Mulligan. Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and Tencent make up about 72% of all music streaming. These numbers could also change soon, as Amazon Music is coming on strong thanks to voice-control of its smart speakers, and Tencent just filed for a U.S. IPO, which means the platform is heading into the market in a big way (more on this in a future post).
Record labels and artists clearly prefer Apple Music, however, since the platform pays far better than most other services, at least to this point. That said, Spotify is where the online music tastemakers still live, and a placement on the right playlist there can turn into some big streaming numbers in a flash.
All this means that streaming music continues to evolve, and almost every month brings a new surprise.