Apple’s Music streaming service has reached 20 million paid subscribers, half as many users as its main rival, Spotify. Much of that growth has relied on exclusive content deals.
This number is an increase of 15% in the last 3 months, as Apple Music is now receiving a million subscribers per month, according to a new report from Billboard. Apple also shared that 60% percent of customers using Apple Music have not bought content from the iTunes Music Store in the last 12 months – some were dormant users, but “the vast majority are new customers.”
“It’s been quite a year,” says Apple executive Eddie Cue told Billboard. “We were thrilled to see that we could take passions and drive them all the way to No. 1. Chance the Rapper, who we put on Apple Music exclusively, hit the top 10 on the Billboard charts [on streams alone], and I can’t recall that being done before.”
Early this year, Apple announced that its paid music service, which was launched back in 2015, had reached 13 million users. Then, a few months later at the latest iPhone unveiling event, Apple said that number had grown to 17 million. Fast forward to today, and Apple Music boss Eddy Cue is celebrating the 20 million paid subscribers mark.
A large part of that growth in Apple Music’s user base can be attributed to exclusive content deals that the company has signed with artists. However, these have been criticized by some artists and users alike.
Still, this is an important milestone for the company, and Cue said that exclusive content and promotions will continue in an effort to drive even more engagement and growth.