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1-min read

Users abandoning Apple Music service as free trial period draws to a close

20-50 per cent of initial subscribers have already jumped ship even though the free trial period doesn't end until September 30.

AFP Relaxnews

Updated:August 20, 2015, 8:07 AM IST
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Users abandoning Apple Music service as free trial period draws to a close
20-50 per cent of initial subscribers have already jumped ship even though the free trial period doesn't end until September 30.
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Contradictory numbers are circulating regarding the number of Apple Music users abandoning the service. Ultimately, it seems that 20-50 per cent of initial subscribers have already jumped ship even though the free trial period doesn't end until September 30.

Apple Music launched on June 30 with a three-month free trial period and will eventually switch to a pay model with subscriptions starting at $9.99 per month or $14.99 for a family (six users max).

Apple Music includes a streaming music service, radio (Beats One) and a platform for artist-fan interaction (Connect). The music catalog counts around 30 million tracks, including some exclusive to the service, such as "Compton," the new album by Dr. Dre, and Taylor Swift's "1989."

More than 11 million users

By early August, one month after launching, Apple Music had 11 million registered users according to Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. Yet this is not the number anyone should be focusing on. What is ultimately important is those whom Apple will be able to retain and turn into paying subscribers come the end of the free trial period. This is where confusion sets in.

Though Apple maintains that 79 per cent of people who signed up for the Apple Music trial continue to use the service on a weekly basis, a MusicWatch survey of 5,000 respondents suggests that nearly half (48 per cent) of the service's trial members have stopped using it. Furthermore, according to them, only 11 per cent of iOS users have downloaded Apple Music, and among those, 61 per cent have already deactivated the automatic renewal of their membership.

Different methodologies and interpretations can lead to different results, but assuming the truth lies somewhere in between Apple's claims and the results of MusicWatch's survey, come October, Apple Music should have fewer than 10 million paying subscribers. In comparison, Spotify, the market leader for music streaming, has more than 20 million paying subscribers.

Apple Music is currently available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, but also for Mac and PC via iTunes. The service should expand to Android and Apple TV in the fall.

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