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Spotify counter-punches, adds new features to match Apple Music

With Apple Music approaching half of Spotify’s subscriber numbers it’s clear that the music-streaming newcomer is going to stick around — this isn’t just some experiment for the Cupertino tech giant. Now, as a response, Spotify is announcing and releasing new features and plans for their competing service in hopes to keep their subscribers from jumping ship, and attract new subscribers who might not fit Apple mold.

In this episode of Explained we take a look at how Spotify has reacted to Apple Music, compare each service’s features and even share a look at what we feel each company should do to stay ahead. We hope this quick and informative video will help you choose which side of the music streaming battle you’d like to stand on.

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Joshua Smith
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Just another not so ordinary kid living this thing we like to call life.
Spotify hits 83 million paid users as the race with Apple Music rocks on
Spotify Rap Caviar playlist displayed on an iPhone.

As Apple Music continues to gain ground in the music streaming industry, Spotify is charging full steam ahead in hopes of staving off the iEmpire's relentless onslaught. And on Thursday, July 26, it seemed as though the Swedish service just may have succeeded -- for now. In its second earnings report ever, the company announced that it had reached 83 million paid subscribers, which represents an increase of 8 million members since May. This is toward the high end of what investors were hoping for, and keeps Apple Music (which at last count, had about 40 million paid subscribers) at bay.

A significant portion of Spotify's recent growth has been attributed to its Family Plan program, as Spotify notes that folks who sign up through this option tend to remain members for longer than individuals. After all, it's probably harder to tell your siblings, parents, and children that they're all losing streaming music access than it is to just cut yourself off.

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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.

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Apple Music reaches milestone of 40 million paid subscribers
Apple Music

Apple Music has officially surpassed the 40 million subscriber mark. It's an impressive milestone for the music streaming service, which has also just found itself a new leader. Earlier this week, the iEmpire announced that Oliver Schusser, who previously led several international content ventures like the App Store, iTunes Movies and TV, iBooks, and Apple Podcasts, will be taking on the challenge of leading Apple Music Worldwide. Schusser's new official title will be vice president of Apple Music and International Content.

Under his leadership, Apple no doubt hopes to grow its user numbers even further. In the last three years, the company has racked up an impressive fan base for its streaming music service. Its 40 million paid subscribers as of this week hail from 115 countries, and there are currently around 8 million individuals looking into Apple Music as a free service.And while Spotify still has Apple Music beat with its 70 million paid subscribers around the world, Apple is quickly catching up. In fact, whereas Spotify's monthly growth rate is only 2 percent, Apple Music boasts a growth clip of 5 percent.

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