Apple Music Now Has Over 11 Million Paying Subscribers

Apple Music... the Giant Awakens
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Apple reveals that Apple Music has now amassed over 11 million subscribers since it launched last summer.

Eddy Cue, Apple’s SVP, Internet Software and Services, and Craig Federighi, Apple’s SVP,  Software Engineering recently discussed Apple Music with John Gruber on his podcast, ‘The Talk Show‘.

During the podcast, conversations spanned everything from new features and service issues to number of users.  But what really stood out from the discussion was just how quickly Apple Music is expanding and growing.  Apple now counts over 11 million subscribers and 782 million users on iCloud, a massive tally.

But what’s more impressive is the short amount of time it has taken Apple Music to reach this milestone.  Just one month ago, DMN broke the story that Apple Music surpassed 10 million subscribers.  The ten million-mark took 6 months for Apple Music to accomplish, compared to 6 years for Spotify.

It is widely known that music streaming is now a worldwide phenomenon, and so is the Apple brand.  People associate Apple with quality products that hold value, both on the hardware and software side.  That brand power and reputation is undoubtedly a key factor in the early success, despite endless complaints and issues upon launch.

Then, there’s the sheer volume of iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks floating around.  Indeed, Apple Music has been pre-installed on millions of iPhones, a jetpack that Spotify and other competitors lack.

Then, there’s timing: some argued that Apple was too late to streaming.  But perhaps Apple entered right when music streaming was entering its sharpest upward arc.

Without a doubt, the trajectory is applying heavy pressure on competitive streaming services.  It may also be sparking some nervous hedging: according to a recent report by the New York Times, Pandora has reportedly ”had talks about selling itself,” with Morgan Stanley playing a brokering role.  Spotify, reportedly busy seeking a $500 million loan, is probably feeling the strain to add new features so the company can compete effectively.

Image by Fimb, licensed under Creative Commons (CC by 2.0)

10 Responses

  1. Remi Swierczek

    So if all of them pay $9.99 (we know China is @ $2) we got $1.32 billion dollar foundation of Daniel Ek’s misdesigned and UMG endorsed music industry!

    Sorry, wrong design, wrong game board! Inflation adjusted 1999 CDs are $60B today.

    To see $200B+ music industry start with conversion of Radio and streaming to $100B discovery based music store.

  2. Anonymous

    Not all that impressive when you figure what Apple actually did to do reach that milestone. They pushed out Apple Music to all supported iPhone/iPod devices and all computers with iTunes installed. We are talking several hundred million devices.

    Spotify didn’t get this luxury.

  3. so

    Apple would have at least three times that amount if they had taken their time and created it from the ground up (and not thrown together this Beats-laden mess).

  4. VIke

    Pandora’s for sale?! Oh no! I’ve been waiting for them to launch their on-demand service ever since they (sort of) bought Rdio. I’ve long thought Pandora is a fantastic FEATURE, but as a paid service in its own right it’s a so-so proposition. Combine Music Genome with an on-demand jukebox and I am so there. Actually, I’ve been wondering for a few years why one of the streaming services didn’t merge with Pandora to create this unique offering.

    So good God, will someone PLEASE buy Pandora to combine with an on-demand streaming service before Apple does it?!! I will sign up for just about ANY Pandora+OnDemand at once, but I’m never spending a dime with Apple. Please, please save Pandora from being shut away in the Walled Memorial Garden of Steve. PLEASE.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      On-demand streaming giants like Spotify and Apple Music would argue that they already have recommendation engines built in, and that Pandora’s hand-crafted ‘genome project’ is clumsy and dated.

      But stepping outside of the nuances of recommendations, it’s also debated whether music consumers actually want smart, data-based recommendation engines, or whether they just want to be fed music that’s already been heavily promoted, they already know, or has otherwise been validated by the world. They don’t want a singer from Sandusky that sounds like Katy Perry, they want Katy Perry, and Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez, because those are the artists most familiar, popular and relevant to popular culture.

      • Remi Swierczek

        Brilliant music is a brilliant music from Sandusky, France or Jamaica.
        There is quite a lot of undiscovered brilliant music that can be monetized. Brilliant piece thrown to YouTube shredder might never swim to the top – someone still has to do a lot of poking and social gaming to have any benefit of YT.
        In the meantime brilliant remix of say 10 year old Italian tune on 2 million ears NY Radio station can be an instant hit earning $10M in first week after introduction. NY DJ’s promotional/discovery success can be immediately multiplied by thousands of smaller and bigger Radio stations. Good times are in front of us. Technology can do miracles for music but someone like Larry Page has to be awaken to his biggest moonshot of his life.
        Music is the most common medium and is much bigger than digital advertising but very few folks can see it.

    • Anonymous

      The Music Gnome can’t be combined with on-demand. Not like people think anyway. Every song in the Music Gnome has been added by hand. After all this time they have maybe 2 million songs. Most on-demand music services have somewhere around 30 million songs. It would take decades to add every song in an on-demand service to the Music Gnome. Granted you could still combine then and Pandora probably will later this year when they relaunch Rdio. But it won’t be a fully merged experience because there is simply no way to do it when the two are so vastly different.

      • Vike

        I understand the limitations of the MGP. My problem is more one of commerce. It makes a lot more sense for Pandora to be a feature of a broader streaming service for a combined fee than to try and sign people up to pay for a smaller catalog of music that can’t even be played at will. Of course there are other recommendation engines out there, but relative to Pandora they really are quite bad. Pandora’s custom stations are the only ones I’ve listened to that consistently deliver the goods, but it’s frustrating that exploring the catalogs of artists it recommends requires me to leave the service and go back to Spotify et al.

        I strongly disagree with the suggestion that Pandora is NOT offering what “music consumers actually want,” as I would hope its millions of listeners prove. Whatever the labels may think, adults who listen to music are far more interested with help in discovering music they’ll love than in being fed whatever froth’s gathering atop the zeitgeist of the month. Those are the customers that are actually willing to pay a monthly sub, and I think it would be wise to deliver what they’d value.

  5. Anon

    How much money have they lost in downloads ?

    And how much have musicians lost ?