Apple Music has 11 million users just over a month since it became available with the iOS 8.4 update that rolled out to devices at the end of June.
Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president for internet software and services, revealed the number to USA Today. "We're thrilled with the numbers so far," he added.
Cue also said that two million of the 11 million have opted for the $14.99 a month family plan that can be used by up to six people.
The figure of 11 million is just over half that of Spotify, which revealed in June that it has 20 million subscribers.
On the face of it Apple gaining an equivalent of half of Spotify’s user base in a month is impressive going. But, breaking it down, Apple’s sign-up rate actually seems less spectacular than it first appears.
Apple’s users are not paying a penny at the moment to use the service, so a huge explosion of people getting music for free is perhaps not surprising. It could well be the case that many thousands choose not to pay once the free service ends.
Furthermore, given that almost every iPhone and iPad owner in the world could start using Apple Music if on iOS 8.4, the figure of 11 million choosing to take a three-month free trial of a heavily advertised and promoted service from Apple seems surprisingly low.
For instance, Apple sold 61 million iPhones in Q2 2015 alone, so 11 million is only a dent in that number.
Also, Spotify may ‘only’ have 20 million users despite having been in the market for many years, but it has done a lot more work educating users and growing the brand to reach this figure.
In fact Spotify lists its 'active user' base as over 75 million, suggesting that it still has a huge potential base of over 55 million people it could convert to fee-paying users. This is five times that of Apple.
A final point is that many Spotify users feel loyal to the brand, or just don’t want to go through the hassle of having to recreate their lovingly cultivated playlists on Apple Music, and have not bothered to sign-up for Apple Music, even with the free-trial offer.
Apple too will no doubt see its numbers growing, especially with the arrival of iOS 9. Many people may not have bothered updating to iOS 8.4 and will be awaiting iOS 9 before bothering to upgrade. This will then bring them Apple Music and could see user numbers soar.
Even so, the figure of 11 million should give heart to Spotify and suggests that Apple may not have everything its own way in the music market in the years ahead.
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