Spotify swipes a major player from Apple Music

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Apple Music
Although Apple Music' subscriber base is growing steadily, there have been two high-profile executive departures in a week.
Photo: Apple

The head of Hip-Hop/R&B Programming at Apple Music, Carl Chery, is reportedly headed for rival Spotify. 

Chery worked for Apple since 2014, and was responsible for helping to launch the careers of Cardi B, Bryson Tiller, Post Malone, and others.

Spotify quibbles with Apple Music over The Weeknd streaming numbers

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Republic Records
Although it raises some questions about streaming number reporting.
Photo: Republic Records

Spotify and Apple are in a battle over rival streaming music services, and sometimes such conflicts can turn a bit petty.

After it was reported that The Weeknd’s latest album and lead single performed better on Apple Music than it did on Spotify, Spotify hit back by reporting that the numbers it initially gave were, in fact, wrong. It apparently beat Apple after all.

And that’s where things get confusing.

Spotify could finally come to Apple Watch at WWDC

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Snowy-Spotify-Apple-Watch
Spotify hired Andrew Chang, creator of a third-party Spotify app for watchOS, last April.
Photo: Snowy

Spotify will finally deliver its first Apple Watch app this year, according to a new report.

It could get an official reveal at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June alongside “StreamKit,” a new framework for watchOS 5 that will boost the cellular Apple Watch’s standalone capabilities.

Spotify still boasts twice as many paying subscribers as Apple Music

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Spotify
Spotify is still ruling the streaming world
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Spotify says it has between 73 million and 76 million paying subscribers, around twice what Apple Music currently has. This year, Spotify plans for that number to grow to between 92 million and 96 million premium users.

According to Cupertino’s most recent figures, Apple Music has signed up 38 million users who pay a monthly subscription.

Ad blitz will make listening to music on YouTube unbearable — on purpose

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YouTube Music
A for-pay YouTube music service is in development, but free users have to be convinced to switch.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Freeloaders who use YouTube as a cheap alternative to Apple Music should get ready to be annoyed. YouTube is about to intentionally irritate users who treat the video site as a jukebox by increasing ads between songs.

The goal? Driving subscriptions to an as-yet-unannounced paid YouTube music service.

Spotify skips Siri with new voice command feature

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Spotify
Spotify may soon feature voice command .
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Music service Spotify has added a voice search feature to its iOS app that allows users to find song tracks, albums, and playlists.

The new test feature takes Siri out of the equation. With Apple trying to grow its music streaming service, it never allowed Spotify to integrate with Siri, including with Apple’s first smart speaker, HomePod.

Apple Music hits 38 million subscribers

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Apple Music
There are now nearly 40 million paid Apple Music subscribers.
Photo: Apple

Almost 40 million people now pay to listen to Apple Music. That’s not bad for a service that was met with skepticism when it debuted back in 2015.

Apple Music still faces strong competition from Spotify and Google Play Music, but it’s growing strongly. And all those people putting down $9.99 a month adds significantly to Apple revenue as streaming services have become the top way to listen to music.

Rihanna is first female artist to hit 2 billion streams on Apple Music

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Rihanna
The biggest artist under Apple Music's umbrella. Ella, ella. 'Eh 'eh?
Photo: Apple

Rihanna is the first female artist to surpass 2 billion streams on Apple Music, according to a tweet sent out by Cupertino.

It’s not clear whether the quick stat refers to just Rihanna’s solo songs or includes other artists’ tracks on which she appeared. However, it’s a big achievement — and proof positive of just how big Apple Music is getting.