Apple Music eclipses 50 million listener mark
Spotify still rules the roost with 75 million paid subscribersBy Shawn Knight
Apple Music, the tech giant's subscription-based streaming music service, now has over 50 million users according to CEO Tim Cook.
In the interview on "The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations," Cook said Apple Music now has more than 50 million listeners - a figure that combines both paid subscriptions and free trials. At last check just over a month ago, Apple had just passed the 40 million paid subscriber mark and reportedly had around eight million people sampling the service via free trials.
By comparison, Apple's biggest streaming music competitor - Spotify - has 75 million paid subscribers on its roster. It's a sizable lead for sure although it's worth noting that Spotify had nearly a decade head start on Apple Music. Should current growth rates hold steady, Apple could catch up and even surpass Spotify in just a couple of years.
Cook also touched on Apple's streaming video plans. "We are very interested in the content business. We will be playing in a way that is consistent with our brand," Cook said. "We're not ready to give any details on it yet. But it's clearly an area of interest."
A report from The Wall Street Journal last summer claimed Apple had set a budget of $1 billion to be used over the following year to secure original content deals. Apple has reportedly outspent Facebook and YouTube in recent months and has even beat Netflix in a few bidding wars.
That's a lot of money but it still pales in comparison to the more than $8 billion Netflix is expected to shell out on original content this year.