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Apple Music crosses 20 million subscribers just 18 months after launching

by Brandon Russell | December 7, 2016December 7, 2016 3:30 pm PDT

Eighteen months after the service officially went live, Apple Music is now up to 20 million paying subscribers. The Cupertino company previously revealed in September it had 17 million subscribers, showing a growth of about 1 million new customers every month.

In a statement to Billboard, Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue said over 50 percent of its subscribers live outside the U.S. The service is now available in over 100 markets, including Brazil, South Africa, Japan, and others.

Since launching, Apple has been able to flex its muscle by grabbing key exclusives, whether timed or indefinite. Drake’s Views launched on Apple Music first while Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book was propelled to the top charts after being released on the service.

According to Cue, Apple isn’t resting on its laurels now that it has reached such a significant milestone.

“There are billions of people listening to music and we haven’t even hit 100 million subscribers,” Cue told Billboard. “There’s a lot of growth opportunity.”


Lagging behind Spotify

Even with 20 million paying subscribers under its belt, Spotify is still the market leader with 40 million paying subscribers as of September of this year. But Apple’s service is growing at an exponential rate and it’s only been on the market for 18 months.

If Apple can continue to launch new albums—it was first to stream Frank Ocean’s Blonde—then it wouldn’t be a surprise to see its streaming service eventually catch up. It might not be a question of if, but when.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...