Apple Music surpasses Spotify in paid U.S. subscribers

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Spotify may dominate the global market, but Apple Music continues to grow at an alarming rate.

Apple Music has surpassed Spotify in paid U.S. subscribers, according to a new post from the Wall Street Journal, which further indicates that the war for streaming music dominance is far from over.

The article published earlier this week reveals Apple Music now has 28 million subscribers in the U.S. while Spotify trails with 26 million. The news post also claims that Apple’s streaming music service has been adding subscribers in the world’s biggest music market faster than its rival with a monthly growth rate of 2.6-3% compared to Spotify’s 1.5-2%.

Globally, Spotify remains the streaming champ, boasting over 96 million paid subscribers compared to Apple Music’s 50 million. Spotify has over 200 million subscribers on its free tier as well.

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Apple’s main advantage over its rival are the 900 million iPhones in use around the world, each one with iTunes installed and a credit card on file. If consumers grow tired of Spotify or otherwise dislike the service, making the switch to Apple Music is easier than joining any other competitor in the field.

Still, the news that Apple Music has surpassed Spotify in the US comes as a surprise to much of the industry. Spotify has long been considered the Netflix of music streaming, and its recent acquisition of several podcast businesses and services , not to mention the recent Hulu partnership, has positioned the company for additional growth in the years to come. The fact Apple Music has now surpassed Spotify, at least in U.S. paid subscriptions, is sure to make investors a little wary of what the future may hold.

Apple recently announced plans for its own video streaming platform, which it will likely bundle with Apple Music. If that comes to pass, Apple’s streaming division will grow even faster than its current rate, which would shrink Spotify’s lead in the marketplace.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.