Apple Music is now the No. 1 music streaming service in the United States, according to an industry source who spoke to Digital Music News. If correct, this would be the first time the number of Apple Music subscribers in the U.S. has surpassed the industry leader, Spotify.
UPDATE: On April 5, 2019, The Wall Street Journal confirmed the findings by Digital Music News. According to the paper, Apple Music had more than 28 million subscribers in the US as of February 20-19 versus Spotify’s 26 million. Although Apple’s music-streaming service has been adding subscribers in the US more rapidly than its Swedish rival—with a monthly growth rate of about 2.6-3 percent versus 1.5-2 percent for Spotify—it still trails Spotify globally.
The unnamed source, which claims to be a major US-based distributor, shared a report detailing the subscription totals for Apple Music and Spotify alongside Tidal, and Sirius XM.
That report now ranks Apple Music as first in the United States, at least among primarily on-demand music streaming services …
Both Apple Music and Spotify have more than 20 million subscribers in America, with Apple now a hair ahead. The source requested that we withhold exact subscriber numbers beyond mentioning ’20 million plus,’ to protect confidentiality.
Back in May, CEO Tim Cook revealed that Apple Music had over 50 million paid and free trial accounts combined. One month earlier that number stood at 40 million paying accounts and 8 million folks on a 90-day free trial.
By comparison, Spotify had 75 million paying subscribers as of March 31, 2018, and a combined 170 million listeners if you add up everyone on Spotify’s free ad-driven tiers.
In February, The Wall Street Journal began the first publication to predict Apple Music would pass Spotify in the U.S. before the end of 2018. At the time, Cupertino’s service was projected to grow at a monthly rate of 5 percent versus 2 percent for its older Swedish rival.
Rumors suggest Apple Music could eventually become one part of a larger entertainment bundle that would also include video streaming and premium news content. The package could be announced as early as next year.
Apple Music is available for $4.99 per month for students and $9.99 per month for individuals. There’s also a family plan for $14.99 each month. Discounts are available when buying a yearly subscription.