There is a constant battle between Apple and everyone else. Am I wrong? I mean, in this blog, I am constantly comparing Apple’s products to that of others. And there’s a good reason. They are a behemoth when it comes to technology. I have a love-hate relationship with Apple. I love most of their technology, but lately, they’ve been putting out some stuff that hasn’t quite been tested. But rather than rag on Apple in this post, I am actually going to talk about their rivalry with Spotify. In fact, Apple hasn’t traditionally done well in the music streaming business, because Spotify is the giant. Until now.
Spotify has held a long time lead over Apple, when it comes to streaming music subscribers, however, that gap is closing. A new report from the Wall Street Journal is indicating that Apple Music is adding subscribers in the United States at a faster rate than Spotify. Huh? Apple Music has been adding new subscribers at a 5 percent monthly rate, whereas Spotify is growing at a slower 2 percent rate. If those rates hold steady through the coming months, Apple Music will overtake Spotify in terms of U.S. subscriber count by this summer.
Last September Apple Music had about 30 million subscribers. Which isn’t too shabby. But now, they have confirmed 36 million subscribers. Neither Spotify nor Apple breaks out subscriber count by country, so it’s unclear how many of Apple Music’s 36 million subscribers are based in the United States. Furthermore, Spotify recently touted 70 million subscribers, but again, an exact number for the United States is unclear.
If Spotify is at 70 million subscribers, can Apple really overtake them by the summer? The answer is maybe.
“Spotify is widely considered the dominant force in the streaming world, with Apple at a distant second. To be sure, Spotify is larger globally and continues to grow slightly faster. But that the No. 2 streaming service is quietly gaining ground in the largest music-subscription market in the world signals Spotify now has significant competition.”
As I always say, I like to see competition in any marketplace. And this is no different. In fact, I think there should be more opportunities for streaming music. But there isn’t. So maybe that’s the only reason Apple is gaining traction? Or is Apple doing something else? They do offer a free three-month trial, so is that bringing people to their service? I mean, it’s honestly hard to say what, if anything is driving this growth. But if you only have two options to choose from, it’s hard to make a good determination. The fact that Apple Music can be used on an Android device gives Android users a secondary option. Which, clearly isn’t good news for Spotify, if that was their game plan all along.
For Spotify, this news is notable in that it’s currently planning its initial public offering. The streaming company is said to have confidentially filed IPO documents in December, aiming to start trading by the end of March. Thus, suggestions that Apple Music is growing at a faster clip than it is could worry some potential investors.