Apple Music continues to grow, but aims for 2 billion subscribers

Delia Walker
March 14, 2018

Here is what Spotify is about, and how it compares to different music-streaming platforms.

Spotify's entry into the local market comes late with competitors Deezer, Google Play Music Apple Music, Simfy Africa and most recently Naspers' Joox having already established themselves in the market.

"The home of music is here" were the words of Spotify managing director Michael Krause at the company's South African launch on Tuesday.

The music service offers a choice of a free ad-supported service, or an ad-free premium subscription service that costs NIS 19.90 per month.

The service offers playlists tailor-made for Israel, including "Israel's Top Hits", "New Mediterranean", "Hip Hop Generation", and "Israeli Weekend", as well as millions of worldwide playlists. This introduces a massive new potential audience for the music streaming giant with 160 million people across all 3 countries now able to sign up to stream music on Spotify.

In addition to paid subscribers, Apple also lays claim to 8 million users that are now in a three-month free trial period.

Apple has bought digital magazine distributor Texture to extend its subscription services beyond music and online storage.

Spotify was launched in 2008 and now has some 159 million users, 88 million of whom use the free version. Texture hasn't specified how many subscribers it has, but CEO John Loughlin said in a 2016 interview that the number ranged in the "hundreds of thousands".

"We are committed to quality journalism from trusted sources and allowing magazines to keep producing beautifully designed and engaging stories for users", said Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of internet software and services.

The executive also talked up the company's announced acquisition of magazine aggregator Texture and played down any thoughts of acquiring Netflix or other media players, saying that Apple's own $1 billion budget for original content this year is plenty good enough.

By experimenting with the tool, Line-In, it hopes to better understand how Spotify listeners interpret music, so that it can improve experiences for both listeners and artists. Of course, there is also the free tier.

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