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Apple Music now “well past” 20 million subscribers

By | Published on Tuesday 14 February 2017

Apple Music

Apple Music is now “well past 20 million” subscribers, the tech giant’s Eddy Cue said in a moment of admirable precision at the Recode Media Conference yesterday, reports 9to5mac.

What exactly Cue means by that isn’t clear – it was already confirmed that the streaming service had over 20 million subscribers in December last year. That figure was up from seventeen million in September. Assuming Apple Music is now adding about a million users a month, that would put it around 22 million now. You can decide if that’s “well past” 20 million or not for yourself.

Cue also apparently said that Apple is not completely happy with its streaming service’s growth levels just yet, adding that he still sees room for “exponential” growth in the market that is not currently being achieved.

He noted that around 100 million people are paying for streaming music worldwide, but many more are listening to music online.

This may or may not have been an indication that Apple supports moves to revise the safe harbour rules that currently allow companies like YouTube to force rights owners into licensing free-to-access streaming services that pay much less into the music industry. Or it might just be another dig at Spotify’s freemium offer, which we all know Apple doesn’t like.

Apple’s strategy to attract users to date has been partly based around exclusives, but Cue also acknowledged in his talk that such exclusives “are never good for the long-term basis” of the music industry.