There are more than 20 million paying subscribers worldwide on Apple Music just 18 months after the streaming service launched last June.
The technology giant confirmed the milestone to Music Business Worldwide.
In 2016 alone, Apple Music has added 10 million, while Spotify has accrued 12 million
It shows the service’s meteoric growth, which has been aided by the fact that it comes pre-installed on iPhones, of which Apple has sold more than a billion. The value of that install base is heightened when Apple Music’s figures are stacked up against those for Spotify, which took seven years – until Summer 2015 – to reach 20 million subscribers.
That both Apple and Spotify are enjoying streaming success points to a fundamental shift happening in music. Streaming is smashing revenue records at Universal, Sony Music and Warner Music, pushing many music executives to reassess how they commercialise the artists they represent.
The greatest challenge for marketers in the music industry is breaking songs rather than artists in a “playlist-dominated culture” sparked by Spotify, warned One Direction’s manager Will Bloomfield.