WSJ: Apple Music Has Overtaken Spotify in U.S. Paid Subscribers

Apple Music has surpassed Spotify's paid subscriber count in the United States, according to sources familiar with the matter who spoke with The Wall Street Journal. The shift reportedly happened earlier in 2019; Apple had more than 28 million U.S. subscribers in February compared to Spotify's 26 million paid U.S. subscribers.

apple music april pic
Similar news broke last summer from an industry source, but now months later the WSJ is corroborating the report. According to the paper, ‌Apple Music‌ has been adding subscribers "more rapidly" than Spotify, with a monthly growth rate of 2.6 to 3 percent, compared to 1.5 to 2 percent for Spotify.

‌Apple Music‌ is starting to see growth in areas outside the United States as well:

Apple Music is growing faster globally—at a rate of about 2.4% to 2.8%, compared with Spotify’s 2% to 2.3%—and the gap is starting to close in other markets outside the U.S., according to the people familiar with the numbers.

The numbers reported today refer only to paying subscribers and exclude any user on the ‌Apple Music‌ three-month free trial or the Spotify ad-supported subscription tier. If the figures did include the free tiers, Spotify does have many more users overall in the United States.

In February 2018, the WSJ predicted that ‌Apple Music‌ would soon overtake Spotify in the U.S., but thanks to Spotify's numerous bundle offerings with Hulu and Showtime, Spotify remained in the lead for a while longer. ‌Apple Music‌ does offer discounts for families and students, but has yet to partner with another streaming video company to offer a bundle like Spotify.

Apple has become increasingly focused on its services business in recent years, given their high profitability thanks to monthly and/or yearly subscription costs. ‌Apple Music‌ debuted in 2015 at $9.99/month, but the company also offers iCloud storage at various price levels, and just launched Apple News+ at $9.99/month. Later in 2019, users will have a chance to sign up for Apple Arcade and Apple TV+, both of which have not yet been given price points.

Top Rated Comments

TimUSCA Avatar
48 months ago
Spotify will just say it's due to unfair business practices.
Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Baymowe335 Avatar
48 months ago
Anyone else want to comment Apple Music can’t compete with Spotify?
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
IRockThat828pScreen Avatar
48 months ago
Sad day... Apple Music is still objectively worse than Spotify....
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rtomyj Avatar
48 months ago
Don't care what anyone says...When iPhones come with Apple Music preloaded, and the Music app/iTunes bombards you with Apple Music ads, it isn't a level playing ground.

Even diehard Apple fans shouldn't be happy - fair competition is good for consumers.
I don’t remember being bombarded. Now how I define bombarded is what youtube does. They put a pop up every other day on my feed. No matter how many times I click no, they push their protube or whatever on me.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FSMBP Avatar
48 months ago
Don't care what anyone says...When iPhones come with Apple Music preloaded, and the Music app/iTunes bombards you with Apple Music ads, it isn't a level playing ground.

Even diehard Apple fans shouldn't be happy - fair competition is good for consumers.

Edit: For those saying they don't recall seeing the pop-ups, you can Google iOS Apple Music pop-ups/ads to see websites/forum posts about it and turning off Apple Music in general.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Websnapx2 Avatar
48 months ago
Sad day... Apple Music is still objectively worse than Spotify....
It's not sad because Spotify hasn't gone anywhere. Apple Music is absolutely not objectively worse than Spotify, that's an anecdotal comment with no more weight than me saying I cancelled Spotify after enjoying AM much more.

Different people like different things, it's not a comment on you personally so you shouldn't take it personally.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

General Black Friday Deals 2022 Green

All the Apple Black Friday Deals You Can Still Get

Friday November 25, 2022 4:40 am PST by
Although Black Friday is now technically over, many Apple products are still seeing major discounts through the weekend as we head into Cyber Monday. In this article, you'll find every Apple device with a notable Black Friday sale that's still available. We'll be updating as prices change and new deals arrive, so be sure to keep an eye out if you don't see the sale you're looking for yet. Note:...
iphone 14 pro hands snowflakes 1

Best Cyber Monday iPhone Deals Available Today

Wednesday November 23, 2022 1:55 pm PST by
Cellular carriers have always offered big savings on the newest iPhone models during the holidays, and Cyber Monday is no different. We're tracking notable offers on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro devices from AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. For even more savings, keep an eye on older models like the iPhone 13. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
maxresdefault

Nothing Phone 1 Displays AirPods Battery Level After Latest OS Update

Friday November 25, 2022 3:33 am PST by
Nothing Phone 1 users today began receiving the Nothing OS 1.1.7 update, which adds support for displaying the battery percentage of connected AirPods, amongst other improvements and bug fixes. If you own a Nothing Phone 1, you can check for the OTA update by going to Settings -> System -> System updates. Bear in mind that as support for displaying AirPods battery level is still an...
ipad holiday bulbs

Best Cyber Monday iPad Deals Available Today

Thursday November 24, 2022 12:25 pm PST by
Cyber Monday deals have been in full swing since Black Friday deals ended, and we're seeing solid discounts on Apple devices. We're highlighting the best sales for all of Apple's product lines, and in this article you'll find the best Cyber Monday sales on iPad, iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad mini. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make ...
airpods pro 2

Apple Engineer Addresses Lack of Lossless Support on New AirPods Pro

Friday November 25, 2022 2:58 am PST by
An Apple engineer has addressed the lack of lossless audio support in the second-generation AirPods Pro in a new interview. Current Bluetooth technology in the AirPods lineup means that Apple's audio products do not support Apple Music Lossless audio. Apple has previously hinted that it may develop its own codec and connectivity standard that builds on AirPlay and supports higher quality...
Cyber Monday Deals Feature 2022

Best Cyber Monday Apple Deals for AirPods, Apple TV 4K, iPad, More

Monday November 28, 2022 5:24 am PST by
Now that Black Friday is over, the internet's attention has shifted to Cyber Monday deals today. Of course, for Apple products this means that many of the deals you saw last week are basically the same today. Despite this repetition, it's a great chance for anyone who missed out on Black Friday deals to still get the year's best prices on many Apple devices. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate...
Apple Watch Ultra Oceanic Plus App

Apple Announces Oceanic+ App Now Available for Apple Watch Ultra

Monday November 28, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Apple today announced that the Oceanic+ app is available for the Apple Watch Ultra starting today. Designed by Huish Outdoors in collaboration with Apple, the app serves as a dive computer for recreational scuba diving at depths up to 40 meters/130 feet. Apple already offers a basic Depth app on the Apple Watch Ultra for viewing your current depth, maximum depth reached, water temperature,...
Three Biggest iPhone SE 4 Questions Feature

Three Biggest Questions About the iPhone SE 4

Saturday November 26, 2022 12:00 am PST by
While we already have some clear indications about what to expect from the fourth-generation iPhone SE, there are three major questions looming over the device at the current time. Chinese site MyDrivers and and leaker Jon Prosser believe that the iPhone SE is set to move to an iPhone XR-like design in its next incarnation, which would involve eliminating the Home button and adding a "notch" ...