The unknown is about to do the unthinkable.
Although there’s still significant ground to be made up on Apple’s behalf, the gap is decreasing due to a number of factors.
Apple Music Has the Hardware Advantage
Steve Jobs’ introduction of the iPod in 2001 was more than just a slick marketing event, it was a cultural revolution that paved the way we listen to music.
Today, that technology has extended over to virtually every one of their devices, such as the iPhone, iPad, iTouch, and even the Apple Watch. What does that mean? More ways to listen to music which gives users more reasons to choose Apple as their music provider. Although Spotify does have a few hardware devices that support their platform, the primary way is still the old-fashioned way: on a computer.
Apple Music Has the Catalog Advantage
By virtue of their association with big-time record labels, Apple music has a sizeable advantage over Spotify in terms of sheer quantity of available songs: 45 million to Spotify’s 30 million, to be exact. Not everyone is on board with Apple’s platform, including some still celebrity singers/songwriters, but the majority are, which gives Apple a huge leg up on the competition.
The one bonus for Spotify in this department is the price: as of this writing, users can listen to all of Spotify’s catalog for free, albeit with ads. If you want to listen ad-free, it’ll cost you $9.99 a month, which just so happens to be the same price of an Apple music subscription that has 50% more available songs. Also, Apple music currently has a 3-month free trial to get you started.
Apple Music is Gaining Ground in the U.S.
Since Spotify came out years before Apple music, it has created a foothold in most of the world’s markets already, including the United States. Over the last couple years, however, that lead has shrunk, and now Apple music is gaining ground in the world’s biggest music market at a faster pace. According to reports, U.S. growth for Apple is around 5%, while Spotify posts a steady 2% domestic gross. Fortunately for Spotify, they maintain the lead in terms of global percentage growth month-over-month, but that could change soon as well.
Spotify Still Has Double the number of Monthly Subscribers as Apple
The gap between these two music giants is still sizeable. While Spotify boasts an impressive 70 million subscribers monthly (the highest it has ever had), Apple music languishes in a distant second with 37 million subscribers. Still, at this rate, it won’t take too long for Apple music to become a real threat to Spotify. Taking all of these factors into account, industry experts expect Apple music to pass Spotify’s amount of monthly subscribers sometime in the summer of 2018