Speaking with The Wall Street Journal, sources familiar with the matter said that Apple Music has surpassed Spotify’s paid subscriber count in the United States. Apple Music overtook Spotify earlier in 2019. As of February 2019, Apple Music has more than 28 million paid subscribers in the US while Spotify has 26 million.
WSJ notes that Apple Music has been adding subscribers “more rapidly.” Apple Music’s growth rate has gone from 2.6 to 3 percent, compared to Spotify’s 1.5 to 2 percent.
The service is growing within the US, but has seen tremendous growth outside the country 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.
For clarification, the numbers WSJ discusses are only for paid subscribers. They exclude users on Apple Music’s three-month free trial or Spotify’s ad-supported subscription. If Spotify’s free tier users are included, they would overtake Apple Music because the it has many more users overall in the US.
Last February, WSJ predicted that the service would soon overtake Spotify in the US but that was not the case. Spotify implemented multiple strategic partnerships with Hulu and Showtime that has allowed the service to keep the lead longer.
Apple Music does offer discounts for families and students, but has not partnered with any other video streaming company to offer bundled services. This should not be surprising seeing as Apple has launched a number of services recently, including Apple TV Channels and Apple TV Plus. Apple could start bundling some internal services together with the music service for a better overall deal.