Apple Music passes 10m subscribers: Report

The Silicon Valley giant has reportedly reached 10 million subscribers to its music streaming service Apple Music, creeping up on rival Spotify which claims 20 million paid subscribers.

Apple Music has reportedly passed 10 million subscribers, according to the Financial Times.

The on-demand music streaming service from the iPhone maker launched just over six months ago, following the $3.2 billion acquisition of Beats Audio in May.

"We've had a long relationship with music, and music has had a rich history of change, some of which we've played a part in," Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the launch.

"It's good news that Apple is making streaming work but it is also going to accelerate the decline of downloads," Mark Mulligan, music industry analyst with Midia Research told the Financial Times. Apple was rapidly gaining on Spotify, and at its current growth rate had "the potential to be the leading music subscription service sometime in 2017".

Rival Spotify has 20 million paid subscribers and 75 million users overall, according to its website. Spotify launched in 2008 when physical CD sales in the US alone in was at 428.4 million. By 2014 that figure had almost halved with streaming service adoption cited by Statista as one of the impacting factors.

Spotify's free service requires listeners to sit through occasional advertisements; on a mobile device, users are also forced to listen to their selected playlist on shuffle but can still skip through songs. The premium version, which is ad-free, is AU$11.99 per month in Australia.

Pandora Radio, which was founded over 10 years ago, claimed 79.4 million active users in June last year. The service is only available in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.

At the beginning of August, Apple revealed it already had 11 million trial accounts. Those subscriptions, however, were on a three-month free trial with account holders given the option to stay with the service and pay, or cancel the $9.99 monthly subscription.

2 million out of the 11 million were subscribed to family accounts which allow up to six users for $14.95 a month.

Later that month, Apple said that only one in five Apple Music users in the US who have tested Apple Music no longer use it, countering the results of a survey that found defection rates at more than twice that amount.

In a survey of 5,000 people in the US, music industry research company MusicWatch found that 48 percent of those who had tried out the new online music-streaming service had stopped using it. However, Apple said the number is much lower.

"79 percent of people who signed up for a trial are using the service," a spokesman for the company said at the time.

The Apple Music app is pre-installed with iOS 8.4 and is available in more than 100 countries.

Three months on from initial launch, the phone giant claimed it had 15 million users: 6.5 million paying customers and 8.5 million on a three-month trial.

Cook said in October that the 8.5 million people trialling the service was 8.5 million opportunities to get paying subscribers.

After promising it would launch its music streaming app on rival Android, Apple debuted Apple Music beta for Android in November last year.

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