Apple SVP Eddy Cue has confirmed that company’s music streaming platform now has 38 million subscribers. Speaking at South by Southwest Conference in Austin on Monday, Cue announced that Apple Music has grown from 36 million in February to 38 million subscribers.
He added that Apple Music has 8 million users on its three month free trials. This is the first time the Cupertino-based giant has detailed number of users on free trial. The announcement comes amidst reports that the platform is likely to beat Spotify as the leading music streaming platform in the United States sometime soon.
Spotify, the main competitor for Apple Music, has 71 million paid subscribers and it recently filed for an IPO detailing that it has 159 million monthly active users. Both Apple and Spotify charge a monthly subscription fee of $9.99 for unlimited music streaming. While Spotify offers a free ad-supported version, Apple does not offer a free version.
According to WSJ, Apple Music is adding subscribers at a faster rate that its Swedish rival Spotify. It expects Apple Music to beat Spotify in the US this summer. CNET reports Cue told attendees at SXSW that the music streaming platform has the potential to tap into nearly 2 billion people, who will access and pay for streaming music.
Apple Music was announced on June 30, 2015 and apart from a massive library of music, the service also comes with 24-hour radio channel called Beats 1. It is hosted by Zane Lowe, and is streamed at 64kbps and 256kbps with HE-AAC codec and HTTP Live Streaming protocol.
At the event, Cue also spoke about company’s acquisition of Texture, a digital magazine distributor often referred to as the Netflix of Magazine. He confirmed that Texture will integrate with Apple News, and improve the curation of the application. Texture is expected to bolster Apple’s news distribution platform, and ruled out big ticket acquisitions like Netflix and Disney.