Nearly three months in, Apple Music appears to be on the fast track to success. The streamer has lured 15 million users onto its platform so far for a three-month free trial, according to a New York Post report, and about half of them haven’t yet turned off auto-pay. This means that when the service’s initial free trial ends on September 30 (for users who subscribed on its June 30th launch), it’s expected that around 7.5 million free trial customers will turn into paying subscribers.
It’s difficult to predict how many users will manually unsubscribe when they start getting charged $10 per month (or $15 for family plans) starting October 1, but music industry analyst Mark Mulligan claims that the launch will be a success if even a third of those users continue to subscribe.
Mulligan further explained that “above 7 million [subscribers] would be a strong success” for the emerging music streamer. That figure may be a stretch, though, and the analyst predicts that between 5 and 6 million users will pay for a subscription in October. He then expects that another two million of these users will opt out of a paid subscription by the beginning of November. Still, for those doing the math, that leaves 3-4 million subscribers by Mulligan’s estimate, putting the infant service in a strong position after only months in existence.
In comparison, the leading on-demand music streaming service, Spotify, has accrued 20 million paid subscribers since its official launch in October 2008. Unlike Apple Music, Spotify also has a free, ad-supported tier with 55 million users. Notably, though, this tier has come under significant duress from major labels as it pays rights holders significantly less than the premium tier.
This fall, Apple Music will likely be introduced to even more consumers. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, which go on sale tomorrow, are expected to come pre-loaded with the service. Apple is also spending ‘millions’ on TV ads, according to the Post, and has recently broadcasted them during major events like the MTV VMAs and the Emmy Awards on Fox.
While Apple notes that iOS 9 will include an upgrade to address some problems users have had with the service on mobile devices, an Apple Music exec mentioned last month that more changes will be coming for the streamer. “Our focus is on editorial and playlists,” said iTunes International vp Oliver Schusser, “and obviously we have teams all around the world working on that, but we’re also adding features and cleaning up certain things.”
Regardless of how things play out, Apple has amassed millions of subscribers after just a few months on the market. If the company can retain a sizable portion of those users, and grow from there, it will have been a success from the get-go.
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