Back in February the Wall Street Journal learned Apple Music was on pace to surpass Spotify in terms of paid US subscribers. Today, five months later, it has reportedly come to pass.
Citing a detailed report from “a US-based, major distributor,” Digital Music News claims Apple and Spotify are neck and neck with just over 20 million paid US subscribers each, with Apple claiming a slight edge for the first time. This makes Apple the most popular on-demand streaming service in America by a hair. SiriusXM satellite radio, which does not offer specific songs on demand, beats both Apple and Spotify with 33 million paid US subscribers.
Apple Music’s’s rate of growth is also higher than Spotify’s, therefore Apple is expected to widen its lead in the coming months. The data also suggested Apple was getting stronger user engagement and banking more money per subscription due to its more limited discount options.
According to the source, globally Apple claims 45 million subscribers with 5-10 million additional free trial subscriptions. Spotify still owns a large worldwide lead with 70 million paid subscribers globally and — when you factor in all Spotify’s free, ad-supported accounts — 160 million overall users.
That said, given how questionable Apple’s stats have been in the past, take all this with a grain of salt.