Spotify Soars Past Apple Music’s 60M Subscribers

Spotify on smartphone

Sweden-based Spotify closed its second calendar quarter with 108 million paying subscribers worldwide and 232 million total monthly active users, up 31 percent compared to the same period last year, reported Wednesday (July 31). In contrast, Apple Music has just a little over 60 million subscribers. 

Spotify intends to further expand its subscriber base by way of podcasts, having seen a lot of growth following its February purchase of two podcast companies. 

“We have reached an agreement with two of our four major label partners on the renewal of our global sound recording licenses, and are in active discussions with the other two,” Spotify said in an earnings call as per the Hollywood Reporter. “This is the sixth round of label negotiations we’ve worked through … it has become part of the normal cadence of the business.”

Apple Music is slightly ahead of Spotify in U.S. subscriptions, with 28 million paid subscribers compared 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 is ad-supported. Apple Music does not offer a free option.

Spotify in March filed an antitrust complaint in Europe against Apple Music, alleging the Apple App Store restricts competition from other music streaming services. Spotify claims that Apple makes it hard for competitors to reach App Store users without using Apple’s own payment option, which, it has been widely reported, takes a significant percentage of transactions, at about 30 percent. Spotify has said it was pressured to use the Apple billing system.

Apple was predicted to surpass Spotify about six months ago, but Spotify started aggressively pushing back to maintain its lead with different promotions, discounted pricing and a partnership with Hulu.