How Many People Are Still Using Apple Music? Does it Matter?

A number of statistics have been published about Apple Music, and Macworld summarized them in a convenient cheat sheet yesterday. A month after Apple Music’s launch, Apple announced that 11 million people had signed up for the free trial, but also said that there were 2 million family accounts. It’s not clear whether those accounts were counted as 2 million users, or, say, 6 million users, assuming an average family of three people.

11% of iOS users are using Apple Music, according to the reported numbers; that sounds wrong, and I don’t believe it. There are something like 500 million iOS devices in circulation, and that would mean more than 50 million users.

52% of Apple Music users may or may not still be using the service, but Apple has said that 79% of free trialers are still active users. Two-thirds of users say they’re very likely to pay to keep using it, but 61% of these users say the’ve turned off auto-renew in iTunes.

On yesterday’s episode of The Committed podcast, we discussed Apple Music and its future. None of these numbers are useful in predicting whether Apple Music will survive or flourish. It’s likely that Spotify’s freemium model will change, making less of a difference between the two services. (Spotify offers a free, ad-supported tier, unlike Apple Music, which is paid only.)

Apple Music can certainly co-exist with Spotify, Pandora, and the many other, smaller streaming services. The big problem is the high expectations for Apple Music, which launched in 100 countries, and has the cachet of a big company. Spotify, for comparison, is only available in about 60 countries, and took a long time to even launch in the US. Apple is clearly in this for the long haul. Just as the iTunes Store took some time to become the behemoth that it now is, Apple Music will take time to settle in. The initial usage figures are only based on iOS and computer users; an Android app will extend Apple Music’s reach in a month or two.

So, does it matter? Not right now. Reading tea leaves and surveys is interesting, but we’re a long way from a day of reckoning for Apple Music.