Surprise! Apple Music Has 6.5 Million Paying Subscribers

  • Save


Forbes declared Apple Music a failure after three months, but maybe that was premature.  According to details just shared by Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple Music has 6.5 million paying subscribers, with an additional 8.5 million trialling the service.  “The runway here is really good,” Cook told attendees at The Wall Street Journal’s WSJDLive in Laguna Beach, CA.

Previously, industry insiders pointed to something in the 3-4 million range, specifically after first-month accounts were cancelled in November.  The reason is that amidst the hype of Apple Music’s launch in late June, many users initiated trials with their credit cards, and simply forgot to deactivate those accounts after their three-month windows lapsed.

  • Save

MusicWatch summer survey of first-wave Apple Music trial users.

Now, the question is just how sustainable October’s number will prove: 6.5 million is certainly substantial, but it hides the number that may have one foot out the door.  And on the trial side, 8.5 million simply doesn’t count users that have already abandoned the service.

The critical question now is whether a giant bulk of free trial users were simply left ‘holding the bag’ by forgetting to cancel their subscriptions before their free trials turned into paid accounts.  Regardless, there are 6.5 million people paying, right now, and they’re paying the full fare of $9.99 a month.  That is critical when comparing to Spotify, a service with more than 20 million paying subscribers, but potentially less than half of those paying full price.

10 Responses

  1. so

    Another critical question is actually how they are counting this. Are they counting a single family subscription as 5 people? That said, even after a botched launch and being saddled by Beats, Apple still has an advantage in areas of the world that produce next to no music revenue for most Western artists/labels (India, China, Russia), and they have the iPhone. Spotify has to find a way into the countries they are not currently reaching, as their free side and much better interface are their significant advantages.

  2. Forbes didn't declare it

    This again? Forbes didn’t declare it: “Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.” A blogger using the Forbes contributing platform declared it.

    At least you are linking to the article, unlike last time when DMN copy and pasted the entire article, breaking copyright rules.

    • Literally Can't Even

      The Forbes article says “Apple Music Has Failed”. That’s not Forbes?

      • Remi Swierczek

        Whatever anyone will say it is, and has to be failure.

        Subscription streaming even with 500, 000, 000 subs has a global limit at about $20 billion.

        This is not future for music or musicians.
        We have much more great music and many more musicians than in 1999.
        1999 music revenues after inflations equate $60B dollars!


    • Vail, CO

      Just love how Forbes writers troll DMN instead of writing good articles. Probably explains why Forbes has been a crappy magazine for such a long, long time.

      Don’t you have some lame top 10 richest list to write? Everyone knows Forbes’ numbers are bullshit anyway.

    • Adam


      Paul you say: “Regardless, there are 6.5 million people paying, right now, and they’re paying the full fare of $9.99 a month” but clearly that’s not true if in China there could be millions just pay $1.5USD. Pricing is widely different in the world.

  3. Tone

    I’m a paying subscriber, but the new iTunes UI (with Apple Music) is a complete fail. Steve Jobs must be rolling in his grave.

  4. itunes

    i’m subscribed. never got into pandora or spotify as freebie for some reason, maybe a feeling that not all releases were on there, and never wanted to pay them. enjoying using apple music (listening to new releases mostly, sometimes the song mixes and radio). still is terrible interface, though. my teen loves apple as well, and used to listen to new stuff on youtube a lot.

    basically i see 10 bucks a month as i’ll probably listen to a few new albums , which seems reasonable. (used to buy, and still occasionaly do, albums from iTunes.)