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Apple Music Now Has 11 Million Trial Users

Apple Music Now Has 11 Million Trial Users

To date, Apple’s new music streaming subscription service, Apple Music, already has attracted 11 million trial users. Those are pretty remarkable numbers, considering that the service has only been activated for barely over a month. This was revealed by Eddy Cue, the senior vice president of Internet software and services at Apple, in an interview conducted by USA Today. Last July, Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook had hinted that the service has already gained millions of users, but this latest news marks the first time Apple has published figures for its Apple Music service.


Apple Music was officially launched as part of the iOS 8.4 update back in June earlier this year. Set to compete against music streaming services provided by familiar names such as Spotify and Pandora, Apple Music offers music playlists curated by music experts, the Beats 1 radio station which operates 24 hours and 7 days, and a social feature called Connect that allows users to directly interact with today’s hottest recording artists. 


Apple is making its Apple Music service available as a free trial for the first three months, after which subscribers will have to pay $9.99 a month for an individual plan, or $14.99 for a shared family plan (good for six members). During the interview, Cue was not able to share figures regarding individual plan subscribers. But he did mention that 2 million subscribers have already signed up for the shared family plan. 


Despite having gained 11 million trial users for Apple Music, the next question for Apple now is how many users will actually end up subscribing to the music streaming service once their trial period is over? The answer will depend on several factors. First is the quality of music Apple’s service is providing and also how expansive and diverse its catalogue of songs is. After all, users may not have a reason to stay with the service if they discover that the songs they like are not available or not easily accessible.


Then there is the issue of usability. Apple has built a reputation for creating products that are very user friendly, and it will need to continue that streak with Apple Music. But even in the first few weeks of its release, Apple’s music streaming subscription service has already received some not so favorable feedback, especially from users who complained that their playlists were messed up and some of their songs were mislabeled or grouped in the wrong album after Apple Music was launched. Apple is confident that it can overcome these early challenges, but what about the listeners -- will they be able to forgive and forget that easily?


And lest we forget, Apple Music will have some catching up to do in order to get to Spotify’s level, at least in terms of user base. Spotify already has about 20 million paying subscribers to date. If Apple manages to sign up all of its 11 million free trial users, it will still need to attract about 10 million more paying subscribers. But let us not get ahead of ourselves -- Apple Music is just a month old after all. In a year or so, we should be able to gauge how successful the service will turn out to be.