Apple Music is going lossless — at no extra cost to subscribers. Apple revealed the free upgrade Monday, a day ahead of its rumored launch. The company said Apple Music will bring lossless audio to more than 75 million tracks starting in June so listeners can hear songs “the way the artists created them in the studio.”
In addition, Apple Music will add Spatial Audio support for songs mixed in Dolby Atmos. That means customers who own AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max and Beats headphones featuring an H1 or W1 chip — or using the built-in speakers in the newest iPhone, iPad and Mac — will be able to hear certain songs in the immersive format.
Spotify’s Q2 earnings showed largely positive growth, although the streaming music giant suffered a 21% decline in ad revenue and a 48% rise in operating costs due to deals like its $100 million licensing deal for The Joe Rogan Experience.
Total monthly active users on the platform grew to 299 million, while paid subscribers increased to 138 million. Apple Music, which does not operate a free listening tier (outside of Beats 1 radio), last reported 60 million paid subscribers in June 2019 when it had passed 60 million.
Apple reportedly signed the contracts it needs to keep streaming songs from the biggest labels. However, there supposedly was no mention in the agreements of an “Apple Prime” that would bundle this company’s music and video streaming services.
Streaming music services such as Apple Music have completely taken over the music market, a new report from the Recording Industry Association of America makes clear.
The organization notes that streaming now accounts for a massive 80% of the music market in the United States. That’s up from a minuscule 7% a decade ago in 2010. In the first half of 2019, 61 million people in the US had streaming subscriptions.
Spotify’s third fiscal quarter figures show that it is growing considerably faster than Apple Music.
“We continue to feel very good about our competitive position in the market,” the streaming giant noted in a statement. “Relative to Apple, the publicly available data shows that we are adding roughly twice as many subscribers per month as they are. Additionally, we believe that our monthly engagement is roughly 2x as high and our churn is at half the rate.”
In its latest quarterly earnings, Spotify has revealed that it currently has 108 million paying subscribers. That’s approaching 2x the number who subscribe to Apple Music, which is around 60 million at present.
That’s an increase of 31% year-on-year, although it’s slightly below what the streaming music giant had been aiming for.