Apple Music Has ‘Fewer Than a Million’ Paying Subscribers…

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After a month on the job, Apple Music has amassed ‘low tens of millions’ of trial users, and ‘far fewer than a million’ paying subscribers, according to a source now sharing internal data with Digital Music News.  Per the source, the sub-million figure is ‘pretty generous’ and ‘vague’ to protect confidentiality, but ‘not a disappointment’ for either side.  “It’s early, and nobody has a reason not to use the [three month] trial,” the source relayed.

“The real test comes after first-wave trials run out.”

The top-level starkly contrasts with a recent report from Hits Magazine that claims that Apple has amassed 10 million paying subscribers, perhaps a plausible figure but one that assumes very aggressive uptake during a gratis, trial phase.  Actually, it’s a bit unclear what Hits is talking about: the report, which heavily references Vice President of Apple iTunes Content Robert Kondrk, keeps talking about ’10 million subscribers,’ but suspiciously leaves the ‘paying’ qualifier out.  That suggests some fuzzy or fictional math, which wouldn’t be surprising for the old-school, crony-driven Hits.

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Aside from the obvious reasons for not paying when you don’t have to, other factors could be cooling participation.  Longtime iTunes users are screaming about mangled translations of iTunes collections into the iCloud, with metadata damage that seems irreversible.  But separate reports suggest that Apple is also courting a lot of streaming newbies, including a crowd that probably isn’t too picky when it comes to metadata particulars.

Beats 1, Apple’s all-hours global radio channel, sounds like a unnecessary product but has received stellar reviews.  And, for a substantial group of users, it could offer a nice teaser into the broader Apple Music offering.

To be continued…

Written while listening to Mia Martina and Waka Flocka Flame.

13 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    it is honestly a surprise that there are any paying subscribers at all, when one an elect for a free trial.

    “Low tens of millions” of trial users is a pretty stunning level of engagement for the first 30 days of a streaming service. The will be a high percentage of bailouts for sure, but I bet Apple is saving their big marketing push for the time around the introduction of the new iPhone around October, when there should be a significant inflection point. The service will have also started to work out the undeniable kinks.

    • Anonymous

      Are you even able to pay for the service? I was under the impression 100% of their customers should still be on the free trial.

      • No One Pays Till Oct 1st...

        This is all pretty silly. No one pays until October 1st.

  2. Jeff Robinson

    Hard to believe they could have created something worse than BEATS, but they did.

    Has anyone downloaded this yet? We downloaded the latest version of iTunes for access. Does that even work? We did pay $9.99 for some service through them.

    Worst GUI of any service out there. Also, On-demand service streaming appears to play from the Cloud- where royalty rates are worse than Pandora.

    This never would have seen the light of day under Steve Jobs.

    • Anonymous

      “Has anyone downloaded this yet? “
      Yes. Ten million people did.

    • Bingo

      You have no idea what you’re talking about regarding royalty rates. Lmao

  3. DavidB

    Oh, come on. The only reason why anyone would be already paying for it would be if they somehow pressed the wrong button when signing up for the free trial. (Hm, I’d better check my credit card account!) The real question is how many of the ‘tens of millions’ of triallers move on to a paying subscription. I probably will myself, if only because after building up a substantial ‘library’ I don’t want to lose it. But I do wish there was an intermediate price point for people who don’t expect to be heavy users. I would be happy to pay £5 a month (or the equivalent) with a cap of, say, 30 hours, i.e. an average of about an hour a day. Even better would be an option to ‘pay as you go’ (maybe drawing down from a deposit). It is crazy that the ‘industry’ seems to offer nothing except ad-supported or a fixed ‘all you can eat’ monthly subscription. It’s like a restaurant with only two options on the menu.

  4. Anonymous

    How can there be ANY paying subscribers when it’s free during trial period?

  5. Anonymous

    “Has anyone downloaded this yet? “
    Yes. Ten million people did.

  6. Remi Swierczek

    Doug Morris, the CEO of Sony Music and ex CEO of UMG knows that Apple is the KEY!
    They got 900 million credit card accounts and $150 billions in cash, YES $150B DOLLARS in cash!

    Doug also knows that Tim Cook and Eddy Cue LOVE music, Jimmy Iovine has assured that!
    I am suspecting Apple will sign up 100 million folks and will credit their credit cards with $9.99 a month for next ten years. This is what I foresee as the genuine solution to bright future of the music industry!
    $12B dollars a year paid by Apple to music lovers so they can improve their love of music!

    If this is not enough we still have YouTube Music Key superb solution for music lovers!

    Sorry, I am not good enough comedian.

    Let’s beg Jimmy Fallon, who has so many music friends and guests, to tackle this grotesque industry!

    Doug Morris and Lucian Grainge should have some honor and QUIT NOW!

  7. Paul Lanning

    I’m so pissed off at Apple now.
    For years I’ve been using iTunes to organize my music collection. I just bought my first iphone, and can’t find a way to selectively move music to the phone from iTunes (this was a simple task with my old Nokia flip phone). The 160-page User Guide doesn’t tell how to do this. The Guide does contain instructions for synching the phone with iTunes–but that would mean moving my entire collection to the phone, which I don’t want to do; moreover, the synching instructions don’t work anyway. This is bullshit.

  8. lolcat

    @Paul … “Apple Music Has ‘Fewer Than a Million’ Paying Subscribers”, LOL you made my day 🙂