Apple has managed to hit a total of 56 million subscribers on its music service. This is a jump of 6 million ever since CEO Tim Cook announced a milestone of 50 million back in May 2018. The information comes from a report by Financial Times that also says Apple is planning to acquire a stake, or maybe even take over struggling radio group, iHeartMedia.
The numbers are still behind competitor Spotify, which is said to have 87 million paying customers and 109 million ad-supported monthly active users. Notably, the numbers are from September, so the total should be higher at this point.
While Apple and Spotify are clearly the top music streaming services around the globe, the latter seems to be doing a better job. And on top of that, it is yet to launch in one of the biggest markets in the world, India. The Financial Times story says, “Despite Apple Music adding 6 million customers in the past six months, Spotify is still growing at a faster pace globally, increasing by 12 million subscribers to 87 million in the same timeframe. Label executives also say that Spotify’s audience tends to be younger and uses the service more frequently than Apple Music’s more mature demographic.”
In September last year, Apple managed a deal with recognition app Shazam for $400 million. This has obviously made Apple Music, Shazam's preferred streaming partner, as earlier users could choose Spotify or other services to play tracks.
Spotify has also been working on launching in India, which could have a big impact on the subscriber numbers. While it has been a struggle, the Swedish company is expected to finally launch in the first quarter of 2019. It recently finalised deals with major music labels and right holders in the countries including the largest name, T-Series.