Apple Music now has 36 million paying subscribers around the world, an increase from well over 30 million reported last September.
Apple confirmed the updated total to The Wall Street Journal, which today reported that Apple Music is growing at a faster pace than Spotify in the United States, and could soon eclipse the service in popularity in the country.
I think it’s only a matter of time. Then as Spotify declines, the major labels will dump the company in an IPO, or sell it to some private equity firm.
What’s worth pointing out is that Apple doesn’t need to make a profit on this. They make money from selling iPhones (and other products); Spotify only has one product. And Apple has ambitions that go beyond Spotify’s, regarding video content, which Spotify may not be able to emulate.
Also note that Apple Music is available in many more countries than Spotify. Spotify has a presence in 62 countries, and Apple Music is present in 117 countries, notably including India and China, where Spotify is absent.
As streaming takes over from buying music, what’s the endgame? If Apple rolls in a major video offering – either as part of the Apple Music service, or as an add-on – then will Spotify be bought out by, say, Netflix? Amazon already has both, and there probably won’t be room for more than two or three players in that market.