Apple’s music streaming service has zipped to 38 million paid subscribers in less than three years of operation, adding two million new subs in the past month alone, one of the company’s key execs revealed this week.
Eddy Cue, senior vice president of Internet software and services, shared Apple Music’s most recent subscriber numbers from the stage at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. Cue also revealed Apple has 8 million subscribers locked into its three-month “free” trial period, marking the first time Apple shared these insights.
Though Apple Music is well behind the market-leading on-demand platform, Spotify, which has been in business for 10 years and claimed 71 million premium subscribers at the end of 2017, its clear streaming isn’t just a vanity product for Apple.
And if there’s one thing we know about the Cupertino-based tech giant – the biggest company in the Standard & Poor 500, the Nasdaq 100 and the Dow Jones Industrial average — it doesn’t settle for second place.
But that’s where Apple Music sits right now. Amazon Music Unlimited, which launched in Australia and New Zealand last month, has about 16 million paying global subscribers, though Google and Tidal haven’t updated on subscription numbers for their respective platforms.
Apple, like many analysts, sees an enormous untapped market for streaming. Analysts from Goldman Sachs last year crunched the numbers and found global revenues could grow to US$41 billion in 2030 with streaming generating US$28 billion, a 16% rise on its previous estimates.
In the same week Spotify announced it had opened for business in South Africa, Israel and Vietnam, Cue told guests at SXSW there could be up to 2 billion potential consumers who can access and pay for music streams. The exec also talked up Apple’s purchase of Texture, a digital magazine distributor, that was announced this week.
In other news, Apple announced its worldwide developers conference will be held June 4-8 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California. The annual conference is now in its 29th year.