Since launch of Apple Music, rival Spotify says it has grown faster19
Spotify claims to have 100 million users, which puts it far ahead of Apple. But when you look at the number of paying customers, Apple is much closer to its rival. Spotify has 30 million monthly paying subscribers compared to the 13 million paying customers that Apple Music reportedly has. Apple Music is only a year old and is in the black, while the 10-year old Spotify has yet to turn a profit.
Apple Music doesn't offer a free ad-supported tier like Spotify does. Apple does allow new subscribers to have a three-month free trial. Once that period is up, these Apple Music users have to pay up to continue using the service. Apple charges individuals $9.99 a month ($4.99 for students) and $14.99 a month for a family with up to six members. Spotify's premium service is $9.99 monthly.
Apple Music doesn't seem to be an issue for Spotify if you listen to Jonathan Forster, a Spotify vice president. "Since Apple Music started we've been growing quicker and adding more users than before." Forster says that some of the other music streamers like Pandora, Google (YouTube Music, Google Play Music), SoundCloud and Tidal will probably not survive. "My Internet history would tell me that there's probably not going to be that many significant players, and then maybe smaller niche cases ... maybe there could be a classical music streaming service," the vice president said. "It's a hard business."
The executive sees the company investing in businesses that are relevant to music streamers. In addition to music subscriptions, he predicts that the company will be getting involved in concerts, merchandising and video. Speaking of video, Spotify announced today that it has started offering exclusive video content for subscribers. "I think that people have really woken up to the opportunity of streaming," the executive states. "We can see that it is just the beginning. We've never grown quicker than we have," Forster noted.
While he admits that a larger online firm like Google or Facebook could be interested in acquiring Spotify, Forster says "I've always felt Spotify likes being Spotify. We have fought to get to where we are today and we are quite happy and it would be emotionally hard not to be us, but who knows?"