Apple Music may have made enormous strides, but Spotify remains the king of streaming music. For now, at least.
In its first ever earnings report as a public company, Spotify says that it ended the quarter with 75 million paying customers — and a massive 170 million monthly active users, taken across all user types.
Apple Music, by comparison, recently passed the 40 million paid subscribers mark. Since it doesn’t offer a free tier (although non-paying users can listen to the Beats 1 radio station), that equates to its total number of users.
Not all news is good news
However, while Apple’s streaming service has only around half the number of users of Spotify, investors are a bit nervous about Spotify’s growth as a company going forward.
In the last quarter, Spotify brought in revenues of around $1.36 billion. But while revenue grew 26 percent year over year, it also declined 1 percent quarter-over-quarter. In addition, advertising revenue fell 22 percent quarter-over-quarter. In the aftermath of the earnings report, Spotify stock fell 7.5 percent in after-hours trading.
By the end of 2018, the company is aiming to have 92-96 million paying subscribers, along with 198-208 million monthly active users. Asked about the threat of Apple Music, CEO Daniel Ek said that he thinks the market can sustain multiple services.
A recent report suggested that Apple Music may be poised to achieve annual growth of 40 percent a year over the next three years. At its current trajectory, Apple Music is on track to overtake Spotify for paying customers in the U.S. this summer.
Of course, it’s important to note that comparing Spotify and Apple Music streaming numbers isn’t entirely fair. Apple Music only launched in mid-2015, by which point Spotify already had around 20 million paying subscribers.