According to people familiar with the matter, Apple Music has 28 million paid U.S. subscribers as of the end of February. With 26 million, Spotify reportedly isn’t too far behind Apple’s music streaming service. That’s impressive when you consider that Apple launched in the U.S. over a year after Spotify launched there.
Apple also leads Spotify when it comes to growth rate. Whereas Apple’s monthly growth rate is reportedly between 2.6 and 3 percent, Spotify’s is between 1.5 and 2 percent. That means, at best, Apple Music is growing almost twice as fast as Spotify is.
The good news for Spotify is that it still leads Apple by a wide margin when it comes to global subscribers — a little over 95 million for Spotify versus roughly 50 million for Apple, according to the numbers. Spotify also reportedly leads Apple in the number of non-paid accounts, but we don’t know how much revenue those accounts generate.
This tit-for-tat between Spotify and Apple isn’t restricted to their music streaming services. In March 2019, Spotify filed a complaint with the European Commission against Apple. Spotify argues that Apple’s App Store restricts choice and curbs innovation partially because of Apple’s 30-percent cut.
Apple issued a response a day after Spotify’s complaint and said the latter is spreading “misleading rhetoric.” Expect to hear more from the two companies as time passes.