Apple Music is somehow helping Spotify grow

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Spotify
Spotify now boasts 100 million users worldwide.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Spotify might have been more than a little worried when Apple Music launched last June, but the rivalry has so far been beneficial for the streaming music pioneer. Spotify revealed today that it has grown even faster over the past year.

Spotify, which launched just over 10 years ago, was the first mainstream (and legitimate) on-demand music streaming service. Its free, ad-supported tier has made the service insanely popular, and it now boasts more than 100 million users across 59 countries.

Only 30 million of those people cough up the $9.99 monthly subscription fee to get Spotify Premium, which does away with the ads and adds additional functionality — like unlimited skips. But that’s still 17 million more paying users than Apple Music has.

And thanks in part to Apple Music, Spotify’s numbers just keep growing, faster and faster.

“They are definitely raising the profile of streaming,” said Jonathan Forster, a vice president at Spotify and one of its very first employees, who said he thinks it’s great that Apple entered the music streaming business.

Apple’s long-awaited entry into the streaming music market, bolstered by Cupertino’s marketing muscle and the legion of people using Apple products, helped push all-you-can-stream music subscriptions into the mainstream.

“Since Apple Music started we’ve been growing quicker and adding more users than before,” he revealed to Reuters. “It would be terrible if we were just taking each other’s users or to learn there was just a ceiling of 100 million users — I don’t think that is the case.”

Spotify has also been able to maintain its conversion rate for turning new users on the ad-supported plan into paying Spotify Premium subscribers. (The conversion rate currently sits at 25 percent to 30 percent.)

Apple has been working to boost Apple Music’s uptake with exclusive content — like early access to Drake’s new Views album — and unique features like Connect. Apple Music also offers an excellent family plan for 6 users for just $14.99, and 50 percent off for students.

But for now, at least, Cupertino’s entry into the streaming market is not having a negative impact on Spotify.