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Apple Music still trails Spotify as growth continued for music streaming in 2019

Apple Music may have made great strides in 2019, but Spotify remains on top of the music streaming industry that saw a significant boost in subscriptions last year.

Online music streaming subscriptions across the world increased by 32% in 2019, for a total of 358 million subscribers, according to the latest findings of Counterpoint Research. The firm attributed the steady growth of the industry to factors that include exclusive content such as podcasts, and promotions such as reduced subscription prices and bundle offers from carriers.

Spotify vs. Apple Music

Spotify continues to dominate, with 31% of the music streaming industry’s total revenue and 35% of total paid subscriptions. Counterpoint analyst Abhilash Kumar said that Spotify was able to maintain its top spot due to promotions such as a free three-month trial for Spotify Premium, discounts, customized campaigns, and a focus on providing exclusive content to subscribers.

Apple Music, meanwhile, had 24% of total revenue and 19% of total paid subscriptions in 2019, with a 36% increase in subscription numbers last year. Apple continues to make improvements to its music streaming service with the introduction of night mode and curated playlists that target groups, but it still has a steep hill to climb to catch up with Spotify.

In Digital Trends’ comparison of Spotify and Apple Music, Spotify has the edge with its accessible user interface and music discover playlists, though Apple Music remains a serious contender with its larger catalog, exclusive releases, and features like Beats 1 Radio.

Music streaming in 2020

Counterpoint expects online music streaming subscriptions to increase by more than 25% by the end of 2020, for a total of more than 450 million subscribers.

More than 80% of the revenue generated by music streaming services are from paid subscriptions, according to Counterpoint, with the rest coming from advertisements and partnerships with brands and carriers. This means that increasing their paid subscriber base is a priority for the various platforms.

Spotify may still be on top, and Apple Music may be making progress, but for 2020, these two services will need to continue making improvements to their services and adding new features not just to steal subscribers from each other, but also to maintain their distance from the likes of Amazon Music, YouTube Music, and Tidal.

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