Apple Music
There are now nearly 40 million paid Apple Music
Photo: Apple

Almost 40
million people now pay to listen to Apple Music. That’s not
bad for a service that was met with skepticism when it
debuted back in 2015.

Apple Music still faces strong competition
from Spotify and Google Play Music, but
it’s growing strongly. And all those people putting down
$9.99 a month adds significantly to Apple revenue as streaming
services have become the top way to listen to music.

Senior VP Eddy Coe announced this afternoon that Apple Music
had surpassed the 38 million mark at the SXSW festival,
according to
Reuters.  The service had about 36 million
subscribers just last month, 30 mil. in September, and 27
mil. in June. That’s 9 million new subscribers in about nine

Music vs. Spotify

Top rival
Spotify boasted 71 million premium subscribers at the end of
last year, so it’s nearly twice as big as Apple. Back in
mid-2015, when Apple Music debuted, Spotify had 15 million
subscribers, so it’s grown faster over the past 2.5 years.

Those are
global figures however, and the situation is different in the
U.S. Apple Music has reportedly been growing 5 percent every
month as compared to Spotify’s monthly growth rate of just 2
percent. And
Apple could become the top music streaming service in the
U.S. as early as this summer.

The bottom line

Apple Music
because necessary a few years ago when purchases from iTunes
began to drop off. People preferred music subscription services
to buying individual tracks or albums, and Apple followed its

The exact
revenue from its streaming music isn’t reported by Apple each
quarter. Instead, it’s combined with income from other
services like the App Store, so there’s no way to know just
how much the company is pulling in. Still, revenue from that
sector was up 18% year-over-year last quarter, which is
surely a reflection of the growing number of Apple Music

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