Apple Music’s Struggle to Catch Up: Falling Behind Spotify in the US Market


The streaming music wars are fiercely contested, and a recent report from Music Business Worldwide provides some intriguing insights into the landscape.

According to data shared by the National Music Publishers Association, Spotify emerges as the undisputed champion in the US market, boasting 44.4 million paying customers. In comparison, Apple Music trails behind with 32.6 million paid subscribers. One can only imagine the outcry if the tables were turned and Spotify held the lead, given their vocal opposition to the App Store.

The data also reveals YouTube Music and Pandora Radio securing 8.5 million and 2.4 million paying customers, respectively. However, it is the ranking of Amazon Music that surprises the most.

Despite Spotify’s significant lead over Apple Music by nearly 12 million subscribers, Amazon Music closely trails Apple by a mere 3.3 million subscribers. This begs the question: is the NMPA data truly representative, or is Amazon Prime playing a significant role in bridging the gap?

Officially, Apple Music claims to have 60 million global paid customers, although this figure dates back to a 2019 interview with Eddy Cue. It is likely that Apple has gained additional customers since then, albeit the exact numbers remain undisclosed. In contrast, Spotify boasted 210 million global paid customers earlier this year. The elusive number of global paying Apple Music customers leaves room for speculation, but rest assured, we will update you when Eddy provides the definitive answer. Meanwhile, one thing is certain: Spotify’s HiFi release is eagerly awaited.

As the streaming music battles continue to unfold, Spotify celebrates its dominance in the US market, while Apple Music, YouTube Music, Pandora Radio, and even Amazon Music put up a valiant fight for their share of the audience. The competition is fierce, and the next chapter in the streaming music wars promises more surprises as these industry giants vie for our musical attention.