Earlier this year, Spotify announced that it had 70 million paying subscribers, reaffirming its place as the number one streaming service in the world, with Apple Music a distant second with 30 million as of September last year. In a new report in The Wall Street Journal, it appears that Apple is gaining subscribers at a higher rate in the United States, and will surpass Spotify for the number one spot this summer.
Globally, Spotify remains ahead, but Apple is growing at a higher rate in the US — five percent a month verses Spotify’s two percent per month. The US is the largest market for music streaming with 30 million paying subscribers, and Apple’s growth there means that it’s becoming a serious challenger to Spotify. Globally, Apple tells the WSJ that it now has 36 million subscribers.
The simple fact is that Apple is a multi-industry company which can covers any potential costs and losses on its streaming side with Apple Music through its over revenues and profits where as Spotify is struggling to cover it’s costs and branch the company out. This is why Apple Music will win out long term and the smart money is to switch to Apple Music as consumer.
Joe Zadeh writing for Noisey:
Despite yesterday’s live Apple broadcast being more tedious than a game of rock paper scissors with yourself in a mirror, everyone in the UK did a little clenched fist celebration when one particular Beats 1 announcement was made. Zane Lowe would be repping the LA arm, Hot 97’s Ebro Darden would be covering New York, but more importantly: no-shits-given underground tastemaker Julie Adenuga was confirmed as London’s headline host for the new station. Not bad for someone who, a few years ago, was working in an actual Apple store as a sales assistant.
You probably already know Julie Adenuga, but if you don’t then the tl;dr is this: Adenuga is the current don of underground music broadcasting. When your brothers are JME and Skepta, it could be easy to fall into the shadows a bit like that Olsen what isn’t a twin, but the young London presenter has been spreading her sweet wings all over radio and TV for the last few years, like some sort of grime and rap eagle god person.
Her drive time Rinse FM show became scientifically proven as the only thing that could make you smile on your way home on a London bus. And as anyone who listens to too much UK radio online will know, finding a show with decent music is easy, but one with an actual sense of humour is like discovering a hot water bottle in the Arctic Tundra.
Last year she created and hosted a totally underrated music television show on Channel AKA and Daily Motion called Play It that started off as a UK rap and grime platform – featuring Stormzy, Youngs Teflon, Ms Banks and more – then quickly embraced singers and poets too, making it a frontline platform for championing anyone who could just do words out their mouths really really well. And she’s also the host of Noisey’s very own Grime Karaoke, because she’s the only person that can tell Big Narstie to STFU without leaving in an ambulance.
Through Maya Jama, Clara Amfo, Sian Anderson, Monki and more, it’s become a given in the UK that young women are making the most interesting and engaging radio shows around. So for all these reasons, it’s pretty great that Beats 1 is going to become a springboard for Adenuga to put UK music on worldwide blast.
Nilay Patel for The Verge:
Compare that to Spotify, which is building its entire business around music streaming. Spotify is in a jam right now: the more money it makes, the more money it loses, because of how its deals with the labels are structured. Spotify needs a free service because that’s how it gets people in the door and convinces them to pay, but the labels hate the free service because it doesn’t pay them enough. Spotify needs to add subscribers at a high rate to cover the revenue gap; the best way to add more subscribers is to aggressively sign people up for the free tier, increasing the revenue gap. The flames climb ever higher into the night.
Apple doesn’t have any of these problems, because it just wants people to buy iPhones. You can pay the $9.99 a month for Apple Music and unlock almost all the songs in the iTunes library, or not. It’ll barely dent Apple’s balance sheet either way; the company is doing a music service because it likes music and sees the writing on the wall as digital downloads collapse in favor of streaming services. Spotify has to invent an entirely new business model, but Apple just has to make listening to music marginally easier.
The entire music industry, turned into just another feature of the iPhone.
Now, Apple News could be terrible — it’s built on the wreckage of Newsstand, which did not exactly save the print industry. And parts of Apple Music sure feel like Ping, which has a special place in Apple’s Hall of Pretty Bad Ideas. But none of these products are existentially important to Apple; they’re just features, ways to make the iPhone more compelling and interesting. That’s sort of incredible; it’s hard to think of another company that can just subsume an entire industry in the service of making its products more attractive.
Nailed it. This is why Apple will undoubtedly prevail because they make the hardware that people use to listen to their music on and Apple sells a lot of iPhones.