When Apple Music launched at the end of June, it more or less ushered in the battle of streaming music services. Giving all iTunes users a free three-month trial of the service, many in the music industry were looking to the fourth month, which is when they would find out how many people cancelled their subscriptions once the trial ended and they had to pay $9.99/month. It turns out quite a few did, but that still leaves Apple with 6.5 million paying subscribers, Tim Cook reported at a tech conference recently.
That 6.5 million is about a third of the 20 million who pay for Spotify, which is pretty solid for a product that’s been in the market for four months. There are also 8.5 million that are currently using the trial version. Many expected that the majority of those that had signed up for the free trial of Apple Music would cancel their subscriptions once they started getting charged for it. That still might happen with some of those 6.5 million, and of the 8.5 million currently using the trial service, it includes those that might have already canceled the service.
Still, the Los Angeles Times quotes analysts that call those numbers a “triple,” stating that if Apple keeps up their trajectory, it could hit 2o million subscribers in a year, pulling them even with Spotify. Unlike their chief competitor, Apple has no “freemium” model. But Spotify has a family plan that knocks it down to $4.99, which means that not all of the 20 million paid subscribers are paying full price.
Essentially, this is good news for musicians, albeit something they won’t see right away. Apple Music’s early success doesn’t seem to have impacted Spotify’s subscription numbers, and the more people out there paying for streaming services, the more revenue artists and their labels stand to make. Right now, the increased revenue is likely negligible, but it could add up over time.