When Apple launched Apple Music
in June 2015, many people thought it would be a question of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ Apple
would catch up with and eventually surpass Spotify. Apple’s financial and marketing power combined with an installed base of hundreds of millions of iOS devices seemed like a tough combination to beat for the Swedish music streaming pioneers.
And yet, ever since Apple launched its own streaming service halfway through 2015, Spotify
has managed to keep Apple Music at arm’s length. If anything, Spotify appears to be pulling away from Apple Music in terms of paid subscribers. As the following chart illustrates, the gap between the two streaming services has gradually widened from 20 million when Apple Music was launched to roughly 50 million by June 2019.
As Spotify reported this week, the company that went public in a private listing last year ended the second quarter with 109 million premium subscribers and 232 million monthly active users. In line with its European heritage, Spotify is most popular across the old continent with 40 percent of its premium subscribers located in Europe. North America, the home turf of its fiercest rival Apple Music, is Spotify's second largest market, accounting for 30 percent of premium subs.