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GOING TO EX-STREAMS

Spotify and Apple Music Troll for Paying Customers

Spotify has taken a lot of heat from the music biz over the years for seemingly not trying hard enough to convert users of the unlimited free tier to premium-tier subscribers, but newly disseminated stats indicate a heightened effort to enlarge the subscriber base.

The Swedish company has quietly run a series of trial promotions in recent months, the most appealing of them an offer of three months for 99 cents. The promotion appears to have gone over like gangbusters, as around 6 million, likely a combination of freemium users and newbies, signed up for the trial.

Primarily as a consequence of those newly added 6m trial subscribers, the company’s worldwide subscriber tally has risen to 37m paid subs. It’s hoped that Spotify will get a 70% conversion to premium on the part of those trial users, putting the adjusted total in the neighborhood of 35m worldwide, an impressive jump from the 30m Spotify claimed in mid-June.

Clearly, Apple Music has a lot of ground to make up as it enters its second year of existence. While 16m subscribers looks reasonably solid on the surface for a year-old company, critics point out that that number is a miniscule percentage of the billion+ people worldwide who have active iOS devices. The recent announcement of a redesign of the interface could help, and the three-month free trial is ongoing, but the unavoidable fact is that many more people who listen to music are, if not users, aware of what Spotify is and does, while the same is simply not the case for Apple Music.

In a sense, Apple is damned by its own massive success with iTunes and the iPod in that those associations are so strong that the company’s launch of an all-new service has not just been overshadowed but virtually eclipsed to this point. And it remains to be seen whether those superstar exclusives are capable of moving the needle. Spotify doesn’t think exclusives matter, which is why we haven’t seen the company chase them.

A massive marketing campaign focused on explaining what Apple Music is and does, and why it’s a viable alternative to Spotify, seems like a no-brainer for the immensely wealthy tech colossus.

In any case, it’ll be interesting to see what the comparative numbers look like in a year. Here’s how they shape up right now.  

 

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