With Apple Music Now at 30 Million Subscribers, Global Paid Subs Pass 100m

In an interview with Billboard, Jimmy Iovine said that Apple Music now has “well over” 30 million paying subscribers. When combined with Spotify, that means the industry has broken the 100 million benchmark…

billboard-logo2By Paul Marszalek

In a sit-down with Billboard, Apple Music’s Jimmy Iovine said that Apple Music now had “well over” 30 million paying subscribers. That would represent a more than 10% increase over the number reported in June of 27 million.

Taken together with Spotify’s reported 60 million paying subs, the industry has crossed the significant threshold of 100 million paying streaming subscribers.

It’s a two horse race, with Pandora muddling along with just under 5 million, and Tidal publicly boasting 3 million — although industry experts believe the Tidal number is inflated by possibly more than 100 percent, with real numbers at about 1.2 million.

Some now see Tidal as little more than a takeover target for an Apple rival such as Samsung, which has much better penetration globally than does Apple. And that’s where Spotify’s 2-1 advantage comes from– apart from a head start, they’re simply platform-agnostic in an Android dominated world.

In the Billboard piece, Iovine and his team talked about the future of the streaming business, suggesting that it’s going to require much more than commodity-level streaming services (my words) to keep customers engaged. As such, the company is pouring big money into video, documentaries, and more.

Iovine also countered Goldman Sachs’ recent projections for a $41 billion global music industry as just perhaps overly optimistic – saying that Netlfix comparisons were not exactly, well, apples to apples.

Apple and Spotify will need to do much more to justify a paid service when so so many free tiers and services such as YouTube continue to drag on the industry.

Worth remembering is that Apple has no free tier because, as Iovine has said that with free tiers, artists don’t get paid. His upfront acknowledgement is refreshing.

Filed Under: Actual NewsFeaturedLinkageNewsRadio and Records


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