Apple’s streaming music platform is finding its feet, and apparently winning the race in the U.S.
While presenting its third-quarter financials on Tuesday, the tech giant also revealed its streaming service had clinched leadership status in North America, presumably beating Spotify.
Apple CEO Tim Cook told analysts its Apple Music business has raced to “well over” 50 million current subscribers, and its revenues grew by more than 50% during the quarter.
“Were moving along at a very, very good rate,” Cook said. “It appears to us … that we took the leadership position in North America during the quarter and we had the leadership position in Japan, so in some of the markets that we’ve been in for a long period of time, we’re doing quite well.”
Apple Music launched in June 2015 and has been playing catch-up to Spotify, which currently boasts 170 million active users — including 75 million paying subscribers — worldwide as at March 31. Earlier this year, Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet software and services, revealed his company was adding about two million new subs each month, and in May, the 50 million subscriber milestone was announced.
The global streaming market is largely still untapped, with less than 200 million consumers streaming outside of China, Cook noted. “But really the key thing in music is not the competition between the companies that are providing music, the real challenge is to grow the market,” he told listeners on an earnings call, Billboard reports. “It does seem to me there’s an extraordinary opportunity in that business to grow the market well and I think if we put our emphasis there, which we’re doing, that we’ll be a beneficiary of that — as other people will as well.”
Also during its Q3, Apple sold more iPhones (41.3 million vs 41 million a year ago) and more iPads (11.55 million against 11.42 million), and the company now plans to get busier in video content, according to Variety.
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All told, Apple generated $53.3 billion in revenue during the quarter, up 17 percent year-over-year, with international driving 60% of sales.
Cook was clearly enthusiastic about the results. “We’re thrilled to report Apple’s best June quarter ever, and our fourth consecutive quarter of double-digit revenue growth,” he said in a statement. “Our Q3 results were driven by continued strong sales of iPhone, services, and wearables, and we are very excited about the products and services in our pipeline.”
Apple is enjoying a seriously good news week. It’s creeping ever closer to becoming the U.S. company worth more than $1 trillion, and by beating expectations for its fiscal third quarter, stock should rise even higher. At close of trading Tuesday, the company’s market cap nudged above $976 billion.
MBW takes a closer look behind the numbers here.