The music industry may not have changed much over the years but the way we listen to music has changed a lot. Thanks to subscription services like Spotify, Apple Music and Pandora, your playlists are now just an internet connection away.
In the world of music subscription, there is Spotify and Apple Music and then there is the rest. Their dominance is increasing with every passing month and together they now count more than 125 million users worldwide.
Spotify is the crowned champion right now with +70 million users, while Apple is closely following them with +40 million users.
But isn’t this a race that only Apple can win, considering the amount of money they have at their disposal and the hundreds of millions of Apple users around the world.
Nope. It’s Spotify’s game to lose from now on. Here is why I think Apple may never beat Spotify.
Yes, Apple user base is quite large, but Android is much bigger. Google’s Android holds nearly 75% of the Mobile Operating System market and that number is just not going to come down, thanks to Apple’s premium positioning.
Apple knows this weakness and they also know that if they keep their services exclusive for Apple users then they will be leaving plenty of money on the table. There are only a handful of apps Apple has ever built for Android users and Apple Music is one among them.
But on Android, Apple Music is just another app, like Spotify. A level playing field. And you also need an Apple id to start using it.
There are plenty of users around the world who have their own reasons for not using Apple products and a major portion of them are going to embrace Spotify.
Spotify did have head start over Apple. Apple Music was launched on June 30, 2015. Spotify had nearly 20 million paying customers at that point. A good head start indeed.
But it has been nearly three long years and Apple Music is still playing catch up.
In its IPO filing Spotify said that it has nearly 71 million paying customers, double the number of Apple music subscribers. The gap between the two has actually widened instead of shrinking as many would have expected it to.
In any field, getting to the number one spot is never easy. In the world of technology, the number one player stays put for a very long time. Windows, Android and Google Chrome are just a few examples of tech products that competition was never able to catch up-to.
Spotify may not be a technology product like Windows but they are the number one player and there is one advantage they have.
They do only one thing, streaming music.
Unlike Apple which has so many other things to worry about like iPhone X sales, new product launches, regular travel to China and so on.
Spotify will remain laser focused on streaming, allowing the company to pour all its time, money and effort in expanding its customer base. And that’s a liberty that Apple doesn’t have.