Spotify vs. Apple Music: Round 3

Spotify has announced that the streaming music service now has 100 million “monthly active users,” which means people who use the service at least once in a month. (Report from The Telegraph.) 30 million of these are paying users; the remainder use Spotify’s free, ad-supported version. However, the company also claimed 30 million paying users in March. So total users are increasing, but paying users are not. In addition, while revenue is increasing, so are net losses.

Apple Music is halfway there. At the WWDC, Apple announced that they have 15 million users, but it’s not clear how users are counted. Does this mean 15 million accounts – in which case, family accounts have multiple users – or are the multiple users counted in the total, meaning the number of accounts is lower?

Nevertheless, Apple is catching up, albeit slowly. And that’s fine for Apple. While a lot of chatter suggested Apple was aiming at getting to 100 million users for Apple Music, the company is certainly playing a long game.

Apple’s new student pricing has probably buoyed the Apple Music numbers, but Spotify dropped the price of its family plan to match Apple last month.

So Spotify still has a lead, but Apple is catching up. Does it matter? Not that much. There’s room for multiple streaming services, and, frankly, the world will be a better place if there are two or three top-tier services vieing for our ears. Competition forces companies to innovate, and if there’s just one big player in the streaming music sector, there would be no reason to strive to improve the service.

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3 thoughts on “Spotify vs. Apple Music: Round 3

  1. “the world will be a better place if there are two or three top-tier services viewing for our ears.” My ears see what you are saying! (Kirk will probably fix this amusing typo, which was probably provided via auto-correct.)

  2. Dear Kirk . . .

    I’m a bit old fashioned, and that’s why I am responding to your article.

    I refuse to support or use Spotify, and I don’t use Apple Music either.

    Through two Presidential campaigns and thousands of Facebook and Twitter posts, everyone bitched and moaned about sending jobs over seas. Facebook was on fire with memes and vicious posts about the issue. Yet, those very same complainers think nothing of a Spotify account.

    Consider $3,582,000,000.00. ($298,500,000.00 PER MONTH ) … how many jobs is $3.5-BILLION? Not that Apple deserves it — but rather the musicians deserve it most. I have maybe 400 or so songs and several radio stations I listen to most of the time. They all fit on my iPhone. Why send ten bucks to Europe every month to listen to the same songs?

    We never hear anything about CD-Baby or any of the other channels that actually support the original talent — except me. I purchase the CDs and transfer the music to my devices. Several hundred CDs provide plenty of music for me — more than I can listen to.

    Tell your readers if they use Spotify, then don’t complain about income inequality or sending jobs over seas. Next time you see someone posting or sharing anything about job outsourcing or the “other 98%” or any of that, just ask them if they have a Spotify account.

    I am sure to get flamed on this … but I’m not saying my opinion is good for everyone. It’s just my opinion.

    Kirk — Keep up the great work, I continue to quote you and link to you in our news service!


    • I understand your point. However, while Spotify is Swedish, the major record labels hold a large part of the equity, and they are located in various locations. Also, remember that 70% of Spotify’s subscription fees and advertising revenue goes to record labels.

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