The streaming music subscription battles continue to be fierce as Spotify announces today that it has crossed 50 million paid subscribers for its service. This is up from 40 million in September, an increase in user-base of 25% over about five months.
Both Spotify and Apple Music split their users into free and paying customers. Apple Music allows all new signups to try out the service with a 90 day free trial, after which customers start paying with automatic $9.99 renewals. Spotify has a more-permanent free service, which is ad-supported.
Both the 50 million and 20 million figures compare the paid user counts only which makes for a reasonable comparison as both companies charge the same prices for roughly the same features. Apple is leaning heavily on upcoming exclusive content TV shows, like Carpool Karaoke and Planet of the Apps, to drive adoption of Apple Music.
Unfortunately, the latest concrete data we have for Apple Music is the 20 million number from December. Eddy Cue has said that they are now ‘well past’ that number without disclosing specifics. A rough estimation would suggest Apple Music is somewhere in the 25-30 million paid range.
This likely means Spotify continues to hold the #1 spot in streaming music with Apple Music in second place. (Amazon is also likely a big player with its Amazon Music Unlimited offering but does not release solid numbers to cross-reference.)
Of course, Spotify launched many years earlier than Apple’s offering which gave it a head start. That being said, Spotify continues to show strong growth with 25% increase over the last six months. We’ll have to wait for Apple to release its latest statistics to work out when, or if, Apple will reach parity with Spotify.