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Apple Music now has 50 million listeners

Apple Music now has 50 million listeners

As revealed by Tim Cook, the chief executive officer of Apple, just this week on Bloomberg TV, it appears that Apple Music has now amassed 50 million listeners -- that is, if one takes into account users who access the music streaming service by way of three month trials (which are free of charge). 

Some may remember that back in March early this year, the tech giant had revealed that its Apple Music had already reached 38 million subscribers. But it bears mentioning that Apple normally does not include free trial listeners in its estimates, choosing instead to put more emphasis on the volume of paying subscribers. 

This time around, the company has decided to also count customers under free trials. However, the iPhone maker did announce a few weeks ago that it had breached the 40 million mark, with 8 million free trial users. According to Apple, its music streaming service averages about 2 million new paying listeners on a monthly basis. 

Indeed, Apple Music’s 50 million listeners is nothing to scoff at. But at this point, any new number that Apple will be making public will inevitably be compared with its rival Spotify’s current customer count. Around a couple of weeks ago, Spotify had reported of hitting 75 million, in terms of the total volume of paying subscribers. On top of that, the widely considered industry leader is claiming it enjoys about 170 million listeners, which combines both the number of subscribers and customers who access tracks free of charge (as long as they do not mind listening to ads in between tunes).

50 million against 170 million is by any measure a huge gap -- but can Apple Music narrow that soon? It is hard to say for now, but when comparing Apple Music’s 40 million subscribers (as of a month ago) to Spotify’s 75 million, it might not be an impossible undertaking. Granted, Spotify continues to enjoy a significant advantage over Apple Music, mainly due to the fact that its free but ad supported option (which now includes access to playlists, even those in-demand) consistently draws in listeners from across the globe. While it is true that Apple Music also offers a free option, it is one that lasts for only three months. 

Still, Apple Music deserves some credit for actually competing against a proven streaming giant such as Spotify. One can argue that the music streaming subscription service has enjoyed a massive boost due to the popularity of Apple’s brand name, but it still gets some kudus for generating and even sustaining some momentum in a pretty competitive business.