During Apple’s WWDC keynote last week, Tim Cook gleefully boasted that Apple Music now has more than 27 million subscribers. While that’s a respectable increase from the 20 million subscribers Apple’s streaming service had this past December, it seems that Apple still can’t do anything to close the subscriber gap it has with Spotify.
Earlier today, Spotify’s Brian Benedik announced that Spotify now has more than 140 million monthly active users.
“We launched our free, ad-supported tier on mobile three years ago,” Benedik said, “and the business is still growing fast with more than 50% year over year growth in 2016.”
Specifically, Spotify racked up $3.3 billion in revenue last year with profits falling in the $500 million range.
Though the number of paid subscribers on Spotify is around 50 million, the larger takeaway here is that Spotify is not going anywhere despite Apple’s best efforts to dethrone it. Indeed, not only has Spotify enjoyed tremendous growth in recent months, but some Apple Music exclusives are now making their way over to Spotify, with Taylor Swift being a prime example.
That notwithstanding, Apple executive Eddy Cue said just a few months ago explained that Apple remains committed to its strategy of housing exclusive content from top flight artists such as Drake and Chance the Rapper.
Since its inception, Apple Music has had its fair share of usability and performance issues, though the service has improved considerably since its somewhat lukewarm launch in June of 2015. Looking ahead, it will be interesting to see if Apple Music can bridge the gap at all with Spotify. While Apple has the valuable piece of screen real estate that is the iOS homescreen, Spotify fans tend to be extremely loyal and Apple Music hasn’t yet offered those users a compelling reason to make the switch.