Spotify vs. Apple Music: Round 3

Spotify has announced that the streaming music service now has 100 million “monthly active users,” which means people who use the service at least once in a month. (Report from The Telegraph.) 30 million of these are paying users; the remainder use Spotify’s free, ad-supported version. However, the company also claimed 30 million paying users in March. So total users are increasing, but paying users are not. In addition, while revenue is increasing, so are net losses.

Apple Music is halfway there. At the WWDC, Apple announced that they have 15 million users, but it’s not clear how users are counted. Does this mean 15 million accounts – in which case, family accounts have multiple users – or are the multiple users counted in the total, meaning the number of accounts is lower?

Nevertheless, Apple is catching up, albeit slowly. And that’s fine for Apple. While a lot of chatter suggested Apple was aiming at getting to 100 million users for Apple Music, the company is certainly playing a long game.

Apple’s new student pricing has probably buoyed the Apple Music numbers, but Spotify dropped the price of its family plan to match Apple last month.

So Spotify still has a lead, but Apple is catching up. Does it matter? Not that much. There’s room for multiple streaming services, and, frankly, the world will be a better place if there are two or three top-tier services vieing for our ears. Competition forces companies to innovate, and if there’s just one big player in the streaming music sector, there would be no reason to strive to improve the service.