Ap­ple Mu­sic reaches 20 mil­lion mark

Eddy Cue and Zane Lowe ad­mit there’s still a lot of room to grow, re­veals

iPad&iPhone user - - CONTENTS - Os­car Ray­mundo

Ap­ple Mu­sic con­tin­ues to amass new paid sub­scribers, but Ap­ple is not done grow­ing the ser­vice just yet. The firm re­cently con­firmed that Ap­ple Mu­sic now has 20 mil­lion paid sub­scribers, up from 17 mil­lion in Septem­ber. More than half of Ap­ple Mu­sic’s sub­scribers re­side out­side the US, ac­cord­ing to Ap­ple. But Ap­ple’s se­nior VP of In­ter­net soft­ware and ser­vices Eddy Cue told Bill­board mag­a­zine that there’s still room to grow.

“Of course we want more [sub­scribers] and we want it to go faster – we’re hun­gry,” Cue said. “We can’t for­get that, as an in­dus­try, we still have very few mu­sic sub­scribers. There are bil­lions of peo­ple lis­ten­ing to mu­sic and we haven’t even hit 100 mil­lion sub­scribers. There’s a lot of growth op­por­tu­nity.”

Spo­tify, the lead­ing player in stream­ing mu­sic, has hit 100 mil­lion users, but only 40 mil­lion are ac­tual paid sub­scribers. The ma­jor­ity lis­ten to Spo­tify’s free, ad-sup­ported tier, which has been a con­tentious is­sue within the mu­sic in­dus­try. How­ever, Cue said there’s room for both ser­vices to co­ex­ist, and even for new play­ers like Pan­dora.

“If they drive more peo­ple to pay and buy mu­sic then that’s a good thing for all of us,” Cue said. Ad­di­tion­ally, Ap­ple re­vealed that 60 per­cent of Ap­ple Mu­sic sub­scribers have not pur­chased con­tent from the iTunes Store, point­ing to a shift in me­dia con­sump­tion. But whether it will stop sell­ing iTunes down­loads al­to­gether in favour of stream­ing is yet to be seen.

De­spite Cue em­brac­ing com­pe­ti­tion from other ser­vices in this in­ter­view, Ap­ple has not been known for play­ing nice in the ‘stream­ing wars’. Last sum­mer, the firm in­tro­duced a pro­posal that would fix the rates for song­writ­ing roy­al­ties. The pro­posal would sim­plify the costs per stream, forc­ing Spo­tify to pay more cash to rights hold­ers.

Spo­tify has re­port­edly re­tal­i­ated by re­ject­ing to mar­ket artists who have signed up for an ex­clu­sive with Ap­ple Mu­sic, and by fight­ing the 30 per­cent cut that Ap­ple gets ev­ery month if a user sub­scribes to Spo­tify from the App Store.

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