Despite the fact that Apple Music has been growing at an alarming rate ever since its debut, the streaming music primary competitor, Spotify, still holds a healthy lead.
If you’ll recall, Spotify surpassed 100 million paid subscribers earlier this year, in April. Now, a few months later, and the streaming music service has announced it has surpassed 108 million paid subscribers. Spotify actually reached the milestone by the end of June of this year, so it’s likely that the company has gained even more subscribers since.
That number is impressive enough. However, when you include the free listeners using Spotify that number actually jumps up to 232 million monthly active users. It’s also worth noting that, understandably, Spotify is including listeners who are using free trial periods as well, so the number could fluctuate a bit once those trials end, but probably not much.
Interestingly, while 108 million paid subscribers is a solid number, it’s actually below Spotify’s expectations:
We finished Q2 with 108 million Premium Subscribers globally, up 31% Y/Y but below the midpoint of our guidance range of 107-110 million. Intake from our bi-annual campaign was in line with our expectations, monthly churn declined both sequentially and Y/Y to a record low 4.6%, and our winback percentage on gross ads reaccelerated Q/Q. However, intake into our Student product was below plan. As we have discussed previously, our goal is to perform at roughly the 70th percentile of our guidance range and we missed on subs. That’s on us. The good news is that the shortfall was execution related, rather than softness in the business, and we expect to make up the lost ground before year-end.
As mentioned above, our mid-year campaign kicked off in mid-May and ran through the end of June offering three months of Spotify Premium for $0.99 or equivalent. Intake was largely in line with our expectations, with notable strength seen across our emerging markets.
Meanwhile, Apple Music surpassed 60 million paid subscribers earlier this year. There’s no denying Apple Music’s popularity, but it will be interesting to see just how long it takes before Apple’s streaming service can really close the gap between Spotify.
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