Apple Music racks up more than 20 million subscribers

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Apple-Music-Android
Apple Music has hit a big milestone!
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple Music has passed the 20 million subscriber mark, according to new figures released by Apple.

Last time the company released adoption figures, back in September, those numbers hovered around 17 million — meaning the number of paying Apple Music users jumped 15 percent in the past three months.

Eddy Cue, Apple’s SVP of internet services and products, told Billboard that more than half of Apple Music subscribers live outside the United States.

Apple has seen (presumably sizable) Apple Music adoption in countries including Canada, China, South Africa, Japan, Russia, Brazil and India.

Interestingly, Cue also said 60 percent of Apple Music customers haven’t bought any content from the iTunes Music Store in the past year.

While that could be taken as a sign of users simply switching from one medium to another (i.e. favoring streaming music instead of downloads), Cue said dormant users actually represent only a small group of these customers. Instead, Cue noted that the “vast majority” are customers who are new to Apple.

The battle of streaming music

Hitting 20 million subscribers is definitely an impressive milestone for Apple, particularly since it got into the streaming music game a lot later than some competitors.

With that said, it’s still (at best) half the number of Spotify subscribers. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said back in September that his company had a massive 40 million paying users. (Presumably Spotify has added a few more since then.)

Apple also faces a growing challenge from newer rivals. In addition to a more-affordable streaming music offering from Amazon, Google recently made the announcement that it was beating Apple’s three-month free trial by offering customers four months of free access to Play Music and YouTube Red before asking for a monthly fee.

Nonetheless, Cupertino has been working hard to increase the number of Apple Music users. Recently, it extended its low-cost student plan to 25 additional countries.

Apple also continues offer exclusives on albums and, more recently, original video content (in the form of exclusive documentaries).

Are you a subscriber to any streaming music services? Let us know in the comments below.