On Wednesday, Apple Inc.’s (AAPL - Free Report) SVP of Internet Software and Products Eddy Cue told Billboard that the company’s highly successful music streaming platform Apple Music has hit 20 million paying subscribers.
Apple Music has been signing up new customers at an intense, impressive rate since its debut back in June 2015. At the beginning of this year, the platform hit 10 million subscribers, and has now, less than a year and a half into its existence, reached the 20 million milestone.
But it’s still only about half of what its biggest rival, Spotify, has been able to accumulate over the years, and that’s just Spotify’s paying subscribers. Overall, the Swedish streaming firm actually has more than 100 million users, with many choosing to listen to the ad-supported free tier. Apple Music, however, is the second-biggest streaming platform, cruising past other competitors like Tidal, Napster, Pandora, and others.
"It's been quite a year," said 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."
Cue also said that 60% of Apple Music customers had not made an iTunes Music Store purchase in the past year, as the “vast majority” of new subscribers were new users, and 50% of subscribers live outside of the United States. Apple Music is now available in over 100 countries including Brazil, China, Canada, India, and Russia.
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