Can Spotify Keep Apple Music at Bay Now That It’s Hit the Big 50M?

Spotify versus Apple Music

In a recent article, we discussed Spotify’s success in hitting 50 million paid subscribers, and the things the company is doing to increase average revenue per user via its new Spotify Hi-Fi service.

In this piece, we’ll look at their rate of growth and see if there’s enough space for Spotify to grow stronger on the user base front with respect to Apple Music’s recent growth numbers.

Launched in October 2008, Spotify has taken less than ten years to hit the 50 million paying subscriber milestone.

Things have accelerated nicely for the music streaming company in the last two years, as the company had only 15 million paid subscribers by January 2015. They doubled it by March 2016 to reach 30 million, and have now hit 50 million.

Spotify’s rapid growth on the face of intense competition shows that they are able to hold their ground on the expansion front.

Apple Music, on the other hand, is possibly the 800-pound gorilla of the music streaming world. It has the money, the talent, the time and, most importantly, a massive user base to pitch Apple Music to.

It will be a long, drawn-out battle, but the way things have panned out in the last two years bodes well for Spotify. Apple Music was launched in June 2015 and the iPhone maker raced to 20 million paid subscribers by December 2016, raising a lot of questions about Spotify’s future. But looks like there is enough space for both of them to grow equally fast.

The real challenge here is for Spotify to tap into Apple’s device user base and get them on its platform. Apple doesn’t have nearly as big a collection as Spotify, and the deals that the latter makes in the music world will now play a significant role – not only in terms of user base expansion, but also how profitable the company becomes in the future.

Much work still needs to be done in terms of licensing fees, and let’s not forget that some of the bigger names like Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and others aren’t yet on the service. That’s likely to be keeping a lot of people away for now.

Spotify doesn’t have the muscle or influence that a company like Apple does, to push its Apple Music service. But, as long as it keeps pushing forward with new ideas – like Spotify Hi-Fi – and keeps increasing its user base, Apple will have a tough time matching that kind of growth.

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