Counterpoint: Apple grew 36% in 2019, gaining on Spotify

Pie chart of the day.

From “Global Online Music Streaming Grew 32% YoY to Cross 350 Million Subscriptions in 2019,” posted Friday:

Spotify topped CY 2019 grabbing a 31% share of the total revenue and a 35% share of the total paid subscriptions. The runner up, Apple Music, follows with a 24% share of total revenues in the industry and a 19% share of the total paid subscriptions. Due to Apple’s high focus on its services segment which includes Apple Music, its subscription base grew 36% YoY in CY 2019. Amazon Music subscriptions reached a 15% share in 2019 compared to 10% in 2018…

Commenting on the overall market, Research Analyst, Abhilash Kumar, said, “Paid subscriptions grew 32% YoY compared to 23% YoY growth of total MAUs. This suggests people are ready to pay for music streaming for a hassle-free experience.  However, this is not completely user-driven. Music streaming platforms are following a two-step approach to gain subscribers, first registering them to their platform as free users by means of excellent advertising campaigns and secondly pitching them with attractive offers to transfer them to become paying subscribers.”

Talking about the top performers, Kumar added, “Spotify maintained its top spot with the help of promotional activities like free Spotify Premium for three months, price cuts, customized campaigns like Spotify and a focus on exclusive content. Tech giants like Amazon, Apple, Google have started focusing on music streaming and have sufficient cash at their disposal to give stiff competition to Spotify. Apple Music is making improvements in its app like the introduction of night mode, curated playlists to target a group, etc. Similarly, Amazon Music has been trying lossless music and is creating its own niche where it competes with Tidal.”

My take: Apples and oranges. For Apple, Music is one piece of the pie. For Spotify, it’s nearly the whole shebang.


  1. Romeo A Esparrago Jr said:
    “… the whole shebang.”

    I agree. Not having all your eggs in one basket, as well as having a large warchest, tremendously/especially helps during times of economic downturns.

    April 4, 2020
  2. Fred Stein said:
    Apple Music’s paid subscribers grew 36%.

    Just one more little thing (compared to Apple as a whole) where Apple out performs the market, which grew at 32%.

    April 4, 2020
  3. Gregg Thurman said:
    Here’s hoping my math is correct (I’d appreciate a little help from those better at this than I).

    If Apple Music grew 36% YoY, and the industry overall grew 32%, then the industry overall (sans Apple Music) grew 21% YoY. I think that better illustrates Apple Music’s growth in relation to the industry.

    I used the market share numbers in the chart above to make that determination.

    April 4, 2020

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