Spotify could lose the top spot in the music streaming market in the US later this year. Despite Spotify’s ongoing dominance around the world, its closest rival, Apple Music, is reportedly gaining subscribers at a much higher rate in the US.
Spotify has reigned atop the streaming landscape for several years now. At the last count, the service boasted a staggering 70 million paid subscribers . By comparison, the premium-only Apple Music had 30 million subscribers back in September.
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Yet while Apple’s service isn’t expected to compete on a global scale anytime soon, its current growth rate in the US would see it overtake Spotify sometime during the summer months in 2018.
Having established itself as a genuine contender since its launch in 2015, the Wall Street Journal reports that Apple Music is now adding new customers in the US at a monthly growth rate of 5 percent versus Spotify’s 2 percent.
In the same report, a spokesperson for the Cupertino giant also confirmed that Apple Music now has 36 million subscribers around the world. A lot of that success has been chalked up to the fact that any iPhone running a recent version of iOS will have Apple Music pre-installed as standard, which has given the newer service a huge boost in the public eye.
That number could also be affected by the imminent release of the Apple HomePod . With no native support for Spotify, other streaming services, or Android devices as a whole , the $349 smart speaker is essentially an Apple Music machine with Siri baked in for basic smart home commands.
If the HomePod proves to be anywhere near as popular as other, albeit cheaper, smart speakers like theGoogle Home andAmazon Echo, it seems likely that Apple Music will enjoy a significant subscriber boost.
Despite Apple Music’s impressive growth, it’s worth remembering that Spotify still has another 70 million users in addition to its paid subscribers that use an ad-supported version. That 140 million total will no doubt be a huge factor if/when Spotify’slong-mooted IPO comes to pass.
If you’ve not yet jumped on board with a music streaming app, be sure to check out our detailed face-off comparing Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Musichere.