One year on, and Apple Music is the second most popular music streaming service.
This time last year, Apple Music had just surfaced onto the music streaming market. 365 days later, the service now boasts 15 million paying subscribers. In rapid order, Apple Music has established itself as one of the most popular streaming services, only second to rival Spotify.
But Apple Music’s launch onto the music streaming scene wasn’t easy. The service had a rocky start, was inaccessible on launch day, and initially its entrance had zero impact on Spotify, Pandora, YouTube and the others in the market. Forbes even declared that the service had failed.
But despite those early hurdles, by December (less than 6 months after launch), Apple Music was a bigger app than Spotify, according to Nielsen Music. The streaming platform was 9th on the top smartphone apps chart of 2015 (Spotify didn’t even hit top 10).
By January, Apple Music had reached 10 million paying subscribers. That’s an addition of over 1.6 million users on average per month in the first six months — an impressive feat, considering it took Spotify 6 years to reach this milestone.
Apple Music then began adopting a series of strategies that would set it apart from its competitors — and it’s been working. The streaming platform started releasing exclusive content on the service, which added value for their users and enticed new users to sign up. Then, the platform decided to slash the price of a subscription in half for students. The combination of these strategies inevitably increased the number of subscriptions.
What’s next for Apple Music?
Apple will continue working directly with artists behind the scenes. And by funding their music videos, Apple is able to get artists on board to sign an exclusive agreement with them. So far, that strategy’s been working. Apple Music exclusives include: Snoop Dogg’s ‘Coolaid’ album, Drake’s ‘Views’ album, DVSN — an up-and-coming band signed to Drake’s label — Chance the Rapper’s ‘Coloring Book’ mixtape, and several others.
But what about the mega-masses? Apple will continue working on ways it can take advantage of its 800 million iTunes account holders, which already have credit card details on file. Initially this was a worry for existing streaming services in the market. But now, a year on, questions are being raised as to why the majority of these people have not taken advantage of the 3 month free trial, at the very least.
Indeed, Apple Music sits comfortably at 15 million subscribers, impressively enough. But step back, and this is a fraction of its potential market.
Apple is aware of this untapped potential, and steps are underway to supercharge the engine. That incldues implementing a complete design overhaul of its app to make the service more user friendly, and securing more artist exclusives to outweigh the competition. Apple Music is hoping that this will secure them a position as a leading streaming service in the music industry. They definitely have the capability.