Apple Music looks to close gap on Spotify as paid subscriptions hit 27 million

Apple Music looks to close gap on Spotify as paid subscriptions hit 27 million

Apple Music has grown its total number of paid subscriptions to 27 million, up from 20 million in December 2016.

While the service still has some way to go to overtake Spotify’s 50 million-strong subscriber base, it has certainly made steady progress since launching two years ago. Apple Music’s number of paying users has risen by seven million in December, when the company reported that it had hit 20 million in total.

The announcement was made at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), TechCrunch reported.

Among the key factors behind the increase in subscriptions is its pre-installation on Apple iPhones and its three-month free trial period, compared to just one month with Spotify.

Apple's SVP of software engineering, Craig Federighi, said at the event: "Last fall, we introduced an all new design for Apple Music which brought greater clarity and simplicity to the Apple Music experience. We now have 27 million customers who really enjoy the curation as well as the personalisation of Apple Music."

Meanwhile, Apple Music is also looking to attract new customers with content outside of its music streaming service. Last week, it was confirmed that Carpool Karaoke: The Series – the spinoff to James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke – will land exclusively on the platform on August 8.

The company also lifted the lid on its new voice-controlled HomePod speaker system, designed to go head to head with the likes of Amazon and Google in the home entertainment market.

In addition, Apple Music also announced at WWDC that it has added the MusicKit API to its service, allowing full songs from the listener’s library to be played in full within other apps.

In March this year, market leader Spotify confirmed that it had hit 50 million subscribers worldwide, up a whopping 20 million on March 2016. Since last year, company has made a number of high-profile content and personnel changes, all of which may well have contributed to its growth rate.

A key addition to the Spotify UK operation has been the arrival of former BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra chief George Ergatoudis as head of content programming. After 20 years with the Beeb, Ergatoudis has been tasked with making Spotify’s playlist and curation offering the best in the business. Shortly after joining the firm he hired a playlist team comprised of Austin Daboh, James Foley, Dexter Batson, Sara Sesardic and Rob Khan.

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