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 in terms of paid subscribers. 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. Going back and forth in announcing new subscriber milestones, the gap between the two has gradually widened from 20 to around 30 million subscribers, which is where it is today.
A little more than a week after Spotify’s relatively uneventful public trading debut, Apple Music surpassed 40 million subscribers according to an internal memo obtained by Variety
. Apple added 10 million paying subscriber since September 2017, suggesting that, after a brief burst of growth by Spotify, both services are back to growing in lockstep.