Apple Music Doubles Subscribers To 20 Million From 10 Million In January; Faces Competition From Vinyl

By Vittorio Hernandez , Updated Dec 09, 2016 07:53 AM EST

It took Apple Music less than a year to double its subscribers to 20 million from 10 million. However, Spotify is still the king of music streaming since Apple Music’s number of subscribers is only half of Spotify’s.

According to Eddy Vue, Apple senior vice president of Internet Software and Products, from 10 million at the start of 2016, subscribers grew to 11 million after one month. By April, subscribers reached 13 million and in September hit 17 million, The Verge reports.

More than half of the 20 million are from outside the U.S. Since the vast majority of Apple Music subscribers are new customers, more than 60 percent have not purchased anything in the last 12 months or longer anything from the iTunes store.

Spotify Is The Giant

Actually, when it comes to users, Spotify is five times bigger than Apple Music since the 40 million are only paying users. But including those who listen to the free tier supported by advertisements on the music streaming provider from Sweden, Spotify has over 100 million users, Forbes notes.

Although a distant second, Apple Music is way ahead of other on-demand music streaming services such as Tidal and Napster. To add more subscribers, Apple Music is spending more on its marketing efforts and entering into partnerships with major artists for exclusive content to equal Spotify’s numbers.

Competition From Vinyl

But it seems many music lovers, especially those outside the age range of millennials, prefer to acquire music the old way. On Monday, the Entertainment Retailers Association in U.K. reported that last week, sales of vinyl records exceeded digital downloads, including Apple Music for the first time in years.

Data from Vinyl Factory, a website dedicated to records, said that Britons spent £2.4 million (or $3 million) on vinyl records versus £2.1 million ($2.64 million) on digital downloads, inclusive of content from Apple Music. For the same week in 2015, vinyl record sales was £1.2 million ($1.51 million), while digital download was a whopping £4.4 million ($5.54 million).

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