Apple’s momentum in music streaming hasn’t slowed down. The service that allows users to stream millions of songs on a myriad of devices just hit a new milestone, and it’s one giving the current leader reason to worry about the future. So it may not be long before Apple Music topples Spotify as the most popular music streaming service, at least in the United States. It’s believed that Apple could take the lead as soon as next summer.
There are now 36 million subscribers paying for access to Apple Music, up from the 30 million subscribers Apple confirmed back in September. Apple Music’s subscriber base may not be as large as Spotify’s 70 million; however, Apple holds a better growth rate.
While Spotify is growing 2 percent monthly in the U.S., Apple Music is increasing by 5 percent every month. Neither Apple nor Spotify provide numbers for specific markets, but the Wall Street Journal says it could be less than six months before Apple Music pulls ahead in its home country. Keep in mind, though, that Spotify also has an ad-supported tier bringing its user base up to 140 million. Apple doesn’t do the same, limiting access to those who pay a monthly fee.
Likely helping Apple Music grow so fast is its presence on iOS devices. Apple has the service pre-installed, and most consumers like going through first-party offerings above all else.
What’s next for Apple Music and Spotify isn’t clear, but we’re probably going to see more competitive features and pricing introduced in the coming months. Apple Music doesn’t want to lose steam, and Spotify definitely plans to maintain its lead.