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.


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

(View all)
Avatar
15 months ago
Spotify will just say it's due to unfair business practices.
Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
15 months ago
Anyone else want to comment Apple Music can’t compete with Spotify?
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
15 months ago
Sad day... Apple Music is still objectively worse than Spotify....
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
15 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)
Avatar
15 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)
Avatar
15 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)

Top Stories

Apple Releases macOS Catalina 10.15.5 With Battery Health Management Features, Fix for Finder Freezing

Tuesday May 26, 2020 1:59 pm PDT by
Apple today released macOS Catalina 10.15.5, the fifth update to the macOS Catalina operating system that was released in October 2019. macOS Catalina 10.15.5 comes two months after the launch of macOS Catalina 10.15.4, which introduced Screen Time Communication Limits. macOS Catalina 10.15.5 is a free update that can be downloaded from the Mac App Store using the Update feature in the...

Leaker Shares Details on 'iPhone 13' Camera [Updated]

Wednesday May 27, 2020 4:27 pm PDT by
The next-generation iPhone 12 lineup coming in fall 2020 isn't out yet, but Fudge (@choco_bit), a leaker who sometimes shares information on upcoming Apple devices, today offered up details on what Apple has in store for the 2021 iPhone 13's camera setup. A simple design drawing depicts a device with a four camera array, which Fudge claims will have the following features: 64-megapixel...

Leaker: Apple to Stick With Lightning Over USB-C for 'iPhone 12' Before Going Port-Less Next Year

Tuesday May 26, 2020 2:31 am PDT by
Apple will use a Lightning port instead of USB-C in the upcoming "iPhone 12," but it will be the last major series of Apple's flagship phones to do so, with models set to combine wireless charging and a port-less Smart Connector system for data transfer and syncing in the iPhone "13 series" next year. The above claim comes from occasional Apple leaker and Twitter user "Fudge" (@choco_bit),...

16-Inch MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, and iMac Pro With Mini-LED Displays Again Rumored to Launch in 2021

Tuesday May 26, 2020 5:30 am PDT by
Apple plans to release several higher-end devices with Mini-LED displays in 2021, including a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro in the first quarter, a new 16-inch MacBook Pro in the second quarter, and a new 27-inch iMac in the second half of the year, according to Jeff Pu, an analyst at Chinese research firm GF Securities. This timeframe lines up with one shared by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who recently...

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished iPhone XR Models

Thursday May 28, 2020 9:50 pm PDT by
Apple today began selling certified refurbished iPhone XR models in select colors and capacities for the first time in the United States. Refurbished iPhone XR models are priced at a roughly 16 percent discount compared to current pricing on brand-new units, knocking $100–120 off of the regular price. In addition to the 64GB and 128GB capacities matching current brand-new iPhone XR models, ...

Apple Making It Harder to Avoid Nagging macOS Update Notifications

Thursday May 28, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
With the release of macOS Catalina 10.15.5 and related security updates for macOS Mojave and High Sierra earlier this week, Apple is making it more difficult for users to ignore available software updates and remain on their current operating system versions. Included in the release notes for macOS Catalina 10.15.5 is the following:- Major new releases of macOS are no longer hidden when...

HBO Max Now Available on Apple TV and iOS Devices

Wednesday May 27, 2020 2:42 am PDT by
HBO Max launched today, and is now available on Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad. WarnerMedia's new streaming service, which replaces HBO Now, combines HBO content with shows and films from Warner Bros and Turner TV. The service is available as a native app on the ‌Apple TV‌ HD and ‌Apple TV‌ 4K, but second and third-generation ‌Apple TV‌ owners will need to AirPlay HBO Max content...

Powerbeats Pro Debut in Four New Colors: Spring Yellow, Cloud Pink, Lava Red, and Glacier Blue

Friday May 29, 2020 10:00 am PDT by
Following a couple of leaks in recent weeks, Beats today is officially announcing four new colors for its Powerbeats Pro wireless earphones: Spring Yellow, Cloud Pink, Lava Red, and Glacier Blue. The new earphones will go on sale June 9 and sell for the same $249.95 price as the existing color options. Aside from the colors, the new Powerbeats Pro models are otherwise identical to the...

Anker Launches $100 24K Gold-Plated USB-C to Lightning Cable

Wednesday May 27, 2020 12:47 pm PDT by
Anker, a brand normally known for its well-made, affordable accessories for Apple devices, has debuted a new $100 24K gold-plated USB-C to Lightning cable. According to Anker, the cable, which is in the PowerLine+ III family, features a "Special Edition Gold Design" that's "bold yet elegant" with the aforementioned gold-plated cable heads and matching braided gold and black cable. The...

More Photos and Video of Apple's Redesigned Leather Loop Watch Band Surface

Thursday May 28, 2020 10:50 am PDT by
Images of a new version of the Leather Loop that Apple appears to have in development surfaced yesterday, and today, Vietnamese site Tinhte.vn has shared additional photos and videos that give us a clearer picture of what to expect from the new band. The bands come in colors that include red, hot pink, blue, black, and brown, with some of the bands featuring different colored accents at the...