Ever since its launch about 18 months ago, Apple Music has acquired 20 million new, probably paying, subscribers. In an interview to music magazine Billboard, Apple’s SVP of Internet Software and Products revealed that Apple’s music streaming service has reached the 20 million subscriber mark in just a small period of time. He is also among the main Apple employees behind Apple Music.
In the beginning of 2016 Apple had announced that Apple Music had acquired 10 million subscribers in just six months of its existence. In April, according to this TechCrunch report, Apple Music had 13 million paid subscribers and by September, the number had increased to 17 million paid subscribers. Its nearest rival, the Swedish company Spotify, has a total of 40 million paying subscribers but the company has had a head start of six years, so by that stretch, Apple Music will soon catch up and Spotify definitely needs to worry.
The growth has been quite fast but one should remember that Apple already has a very strong base and most of the subscribers must be coming from people using the company’s devices such as iPhones and iPads.
Apple Music, as you may know, is a music streaming service, contrary to iTunes Music from which you can purchase music tracks, download them and save them to your device. Since it’s a music streaming service, older iPods cannot be used with Apple Music and owners of older iPods have to rely on iTunes. Streaming music means you don’t get to download the files – you need to stream them from a remote server. So, basically, you don’t own the music you get from Apple Music. It’s like a music library on a monthly or yearly subscription from where you can stream music whenever you want to listen.
Despite that, Apple Music is growing in leaps and bounds and this shows as long as people can access the music they want to listen to and there is an interface that allows them to manage their music easily, they are not bothered with actually owning that music.
Apple Music is aggressively pursuing big artists such as Drake, Beyonce and Chance the Rapper to make their music exclusively available on Apple Music.