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New leader alert — Apple Music is now beating Spotify in U.S. paid subscribers

Apple Music

The day has come. As of this week, Apple Music appears to have surpassed Spotify in U.S.-based subscribers, and its lead if expected to grow further by Christmas. According to sources who spoke anonymously with Digital Music News, Apple Music now boasts more paying subscribers than its main competitor, a milestone that has seemed likely to come to fruition for the last several months.

Digital Music News’ source is a U.S.-based major distributor, who pointed to a report that examines the subscriber numbers of the leading music streaming services in the country. These include Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, and Sirius XM. As it stands, the report places Apple Music as the leader in the U.S. when looking exclusively at on-demand streaming platforms, with a total tally of just over 20 million subscribers. While Spotify also has over 20 million paying members, its total isn’t quite as high as Apple Music’s. Trial user numbers were not included in the totals.

As we’ve reported previously, Apple Music also seems to have a stronger growth trajectory, which means that the gap between Apple Music and Spotify will likely widen over the course of the next several months. Experts have been anticipating this lead change for quite some time now. In February, the Wall Street Journal noted that Apple Music was already “on the verge” of surpassing Spotify.

It’s still unclear as of now how much the average subscriber pays for each service, though it seems likely that Apple is beating Spotify in this regard as well, especially since Spotify has more discounts and freemium options available. As a whole, Apple Music now boasts more than 45 million subscribers around the world, with the addition of about five to 10 million free-trial users. Spotify, on the other hand, has more than 70 million paying subscribers globally, with another 90 million freemium or trial accounts.

While this may seem to suggest that Spotify still maintains a strong lead over Apple Music, this doesn’t actually appear to be the case when using Drake’s latest album, Scorpion, as a case study. Apple Music saw 170 million streams of the album during its first week of release, while Spotify only saw 130 million. As such, it seems that Apple Music users are more engaged than those on Spotify, which could spell more trouble ahead for the Swedish streaming service.

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