Apple Music Tops 20 Million Subscribers, Eddy Cue Says Exclusives Will Continue

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Apple today announced that Apple Music has surpassed 20 million subscribers, reports Billboard. The service crosses the mark as it turns a year and a half old. Apple Music had 15 million subscribers on its one-year anniversary in June and notched 17 million subscribers a couple months later in September.

applemusic
Eddy Cue, Apple's SVP of Internet Software and Services, tells Billboard that 60% of Apple Music subscribers have not bought content from the iTunes Music Store in the last year. While a portion of that 60% are dormant users, Cue says "the vast majority are new customers." Additionally, 50% of Apple Music subscribers live outside of the U.S.

Cue also says that artists exclusive to Apple Music have hit milestones like the Billboard top 10 chart.

"It's been quite a year," says Cue. "We were thrilled to see that we could take [artists'] passions and drive them all the way to No. 1. Chance the Rapper, who we put on Apple Music exclusively, hit the top 10 on the Billboard charts [based on streams alone], and I can't recall that being done before."

In August, Universal Music Group banned exclusive music streaming after the debut of Frank Ocean's "Blonde" on Apple Music. Cue says that exclusive music will continue on the service "where appropriate." He says that exclusive launches work "well for everybody involved," including the label, artists and Apple. Cue notes that there's no across-the-board policy for exclusive launches, just that sometimes "it makes sense" to launch exclusively.

While Apple has traditionally aligned itself with rock acts like U2, Cue says the company has long wanted to give hip hop more exposure. The company has felt that hip hop was underrepresented in both iTunes and streaming charts, which is why the company has focused on hip hop acts more recently.

Apple's biggest competition in the streaming music space remains Spotify, which had 40 million subscribers in September, but the service continues to struggle as it attempts to become profitable. In August, it was reported the service was punishing artists who offered Apple Music exclusives. Spotify denied the claim.

Top Rated Comments

jtrauscht Avatar
52 months ago
Call me crazy, but I'm still an anti-streaming, buy-your-music advocate.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rogifan Avatar
52 months ago
I would love to know where hip hop is underrepresented. Every time I tune into Beats 1 that's all they're playing.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TMRJIJ Avatar
52 months ago
I am a happy subscriber though I wish they would return the Apple Music UI back to iOS 9/El Capitan style. The Big Bold Text is stupid and takes more work to get to certain controls.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
djcerla Avatar
52 months ago

You're not crazy. More and more people are turning away from streaming music. http://time.com/money/4056464/vinyl-records-sales-streaming-revenues/

Vinyl sales declined this year, after years of growth, while streaming is on a tear.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KALLT Avatar
52 months ago

T-Mobile offering in he USA and Videotron offering in Canada where music streaming (not just Apple Music, but other apps also) doesn't count against your regular data usage is against net neutrality I suppose?

Against the principle, yes. Whether it is against actual regulations in the US and Canada, I do not know. I do suppose that T-Mobile needs to white-list certain IP addresses or analyse packets to differentiate them. Practically, T-Mobile won’t be able to white-list every possible provider, so they are making the selection for you, as they are favouring certain classes of media as well.

I hate when I read comments like this. If it's something that's going to benefit the consumer then why not?

It is only going to benefit certain consumers, specifically those that stream music and listen to T-Mobile’s white-listed providers. Not other types of media, not other providers. Who pays for the additional bandwidth, you think? On top of that, there are larger issues to this, so the situation is not an unequivocal benefit to ‘the consumer’.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Soni Sanjay Avatar
52 months ago
Good, Spotify is dead.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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