Apple Music has a surprising number of users after its first month
Five weeks after its launch, Apple Music now has 11 million users subscribed to its service. While that sounds impressive at first, the reality is that even Apple users aren’t taken by the company’s streaming service.
The news comes from Apple’s senior vice president of internet software and services Eddy Cue, who disclosed Apple Music’s subscriber count to USA Today. Of the 11 million who joined the streaming service, two million have opted for the more expensive £14.99 “Family” membership, with the rest going for the £9.99 “Single” membership, due to the lack of a free tier similar to rival service Spotify.
While Cue is “thrilled with the number so far”, and 11 million users in one month is quite an achievement, it’s worth remembering Apple has 800 million iTunes account holders to tap into. Granted, as Family membership allows six people to use one account, numbers of actual Music users could be higher, but currently less than 2% of Apple’s customers have signed up for its streaming service – a service offering up the first three months of subscription for free.
Rival streaming service Spotify boasts over 75 million members, with around 20 million of those paying for the service each month. While Spotify may have amassed those numbers over nine years, it launched into a very different marketplace where physical media still ruled the roost and people were still grappling with the iTunes store. Apple Music, on the other hand, launched in 100 countries simultaneously and appears to have barely made a ripple with its, usually responsive, customers.
As it stands, Apple Music feels like a service that’s managed to bring people in on its name and past success with iTunes. In reality, the confusing nature of Apple’s service is winning over few people, with Jim Dalrymple of the influential Apple blog, The Loop, summing up Apple Music as “nothing short of a mind-blowing exercise in frustration”. Apple really needs to target the fickle millennial market with Apple Music, and, once Music’s three-month free trial ends, there’s a real worry that its user numbers will begin to drop quite sharply.
While this sounds pretty negative for Apple Music, it’s still early days. Apple has the new iPhone 6s coming out later this year, along with iOS 9 and the launch of Apple Music on Android. These events will give us a better picture of how successful Apple Music is, or isn’t, going to be.