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Analyst predicts Apple Music could reach 20 million subscribers by end of next year

apple music 10 million paid subscribers
Apple Music might reach eight million users by the end of the year, according to music business analyst Mark Mulligan. In a new report named ‘Predictions for 2016′ he further claims that the music streaming service will reach 20 million subscribers by the end of 2016.

In his report, Mulligan says Apple “went from zero to the No.2 streaming service in a matter of months in mid-2015,” and while growth has slowed, he still expects Apple will add 1.5 million more users between October and December to the 6.5 million currently subscribed.

“Its platform and marketing assets are well known, but its clear commitment to making Apple Music work has surprised some,” said Mulligan to Music Business Worldwide. “If Apple finds growth tough going, expect it to throw everything at the labels to agree to lower price point products so it can open up large chunks of the iTunes music customer base.”

We’re a little skeptical of the eight million prediction, considering five of the 11 million free trial users apparently decided the music streaming service wasn’t worth it when the free trial ended. There are currently 8.5 million users not paying for the service, yet who still use it on a regular basis.

The launch on Android might have brought in a few more users, but those would still be on the free trial and not count towards the eight million subscriber count. That means, in Mulligan’s world, 1.5 million iOS users finished the free trial, waited, and then re-subscribed to the music streaming service in the past two months.

20 million users by the end of 2016 is another bold prediction, one that would push Apple Music close to Spotify’s 25 million paying customers. By that time, though, we expect to see Spotify with more than 35 million subscribers, especially if industry rumors are true.

A launch in China is bound to add a few million more users, alongside Apple pushing new content for U.S. and European users — including Taylor Swift’s new live album.

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David Curry
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