Apple Music had 28 million paid subscribers to Spotify’s 26 million, as of February. Apple Music also has a growth rate of around 2.6 to 3 percent, compared to Spotify’s monthly rate of about 1.5 to 2 percent.
Spotify still has more paid subscribers worldwide, and users in general, as it has a free option that’s ad-supported. Apple Music does not offer a free option.
Spotify has 207 million users worldwide, 96 million of which pay for the service. Apple Music has 50 million worldwide.
However, Apple Music is also growing faster globally at 2.4 to 2.8 percent versus Spotify’s 2 to 2.3 percent. Apple Music’s biggest momentum comes in other English-speaking places where iPhone use is high and iTunes was popular. It’s also available on Android devices, and it’s been installed 40 million times from the Google Play store, according to app-tracking firm Sensor Tower.
The figures of paid subscribers does not count those in trial offerings, either. Apple was predicted to surpass Spotify about six months ago, but Spotify started aggressively pushing back to maintain its lead. It pushed out a few different promotions, including a partnership with Hulu and discounted pricing.
The company also filed an antitrust complaint against Apple over what it calls abusive control of the app store, and claimed that it uses the store to its own advantage.
The news validates Apple’s recent decision to push its services over hardware, as fewer people are buying iPhones. The company also recently announced it was going to soon offer magazines, TV shows and video games.
While iPhone sales fell 15 percent over the holidays to the tune of $52 billion, services softened the decline and rose 19 percent to $10.88 billion during the same period.
Apple CEO Tim Cook played down the competition between the two streaming services in a call to investors, but he did point out the potential size of the market.