We don’t think anyone at Spotify was worried when Apple Music launched 3 months ago. Apple Music reportedly enlisted 15 million trial users before October 1st. Any of those 15 million users who failed to disable their auto-payment option would have been charged for continued use as of 10/1. The New York Post had reported that half of the 15 million trialers hadn’t turned off the auto-renew option. These numbers would register as impressive if we didn’t also have metrics for Apple Music’s forefather, Spotify.
On Wednesday, Spotify will celebrate its 7th birthday. According to the International Business Times, the music streaming service is expecting to have “close to 100 million” registered users by the end of the calendar year. Like most web-based streaming services, Spotify continues to battle major record labels to maintain unrestricted free access to all members, while record labels, like UMG, Warner, and Sony continue to push for premium-only content that is exclusive to paid subscribers.
The world of streaming service metrics is a foggy specter of ambiguity and inconsistency. Spotify claims 20 million paying subscribers, but only a small percentage of those end up paying the full $9.99/mo fee. The rest navigate coupons, discounts, and promotional offers. It’s likely that other services will attempt to utilize similar strategies in order to inflate ‘paid’ statistics, and gain favor with record companies. Moving into the fourth and final quarter of 2015, the bottom line in music streaming is simple. Spotify wins. Nobody else is making a dent. If the 100 millionth user isn’t registered by January 1, it’ll be before most of us have updated our desk calendars.