Spotify Passes 35 Million Paid Subscribers As Apple Music Struggles To Catch Up
The race for streaming music dominance has heated up in recent months, with Apple Music and Spotify the clear leaders. Today's report that Spotify has 35 million paid subscribers, coupled with yesterday's analysis that shows the rate at which subscribers leave each service, puts Spotify clearly in the lead.
Spotify now has more than 35 million paid subscribers, label sources tell MBW. That compares to the 15 million paid announced just weeks ago by Apple Music and 3 million for Tidal.
This means that Spotify is adding around 2 million subscribers a month, compared to a rate of about half that for Apple Music. Both stats are tempered by deep discount promotions offered by Spotify and Apple Music's 90 free day trials.
Spotify recently offered a ‘Love Your Summer’ promotion in some markets, with 3 month subscriptions for just $.99. Lapsed users have also been offered a $9.99 3 months deal to return.
Combine Spotify's growth rate with its lower churn, which we shared yesterday (Spotify's paying customers leave the service at 1/3rd of the rate that they exit Apple) and the green music monster is clearly the dominate force.
Can Apple Music Still Win This Race?
Can Apple Music change course or buy enough "exclusives" to challenge Spotify? "This is a false canard," argues music industry pundit Bob Lefsetz. "Exclusives are about cannibalization, drawing Apple Music users from Spotify, theoretically anyway. What is the special sauce that will resuscitate Apple Music? It doesn’t exist, they blew it."
But Spotify's growth has been built on the back of its free music service. If the major labels – currently in early stage re-negotiation talks with the streamer – were to limit Spotfy's freemium service to force more users to pay, that advantage would evaporate. Until or unless that happens, Spotify is clearly the dominant player in music streaming.
Note to Spotify CEO Daniel Ek: Now might be a good time to announce your IPO.