Who Will Win The Great Global Streaming Race? Apple Music Makes Moves On Spotify

Photo: Alexander Pohl/NurPhoto/Getty Images


Who Will Win The Great Global Streaming Race? Apple Music Makes Moves On Spotify

A new report finds that Apple Music has a higher paid customer conversion rate than Spotify, and has beat out its competitor in three major markets including the U.S.

GRAMMYs/Oct 2, 2018 - 03:10 am

The race to win the hearts and minds of music listeners – and their streaming dollars – is one that has kept music streaming services competitive.It is ultimately what has led to fights on exclusive releases as well as to have the best original content, curated playlists and more. While Spotify is the service that radically shifted the way consumers listen to music since the platform's debut 10 years ago and is often cited by media as the streaming king, new numbers show that Apple Music is catching up, and perhaps taking over. A recent report showed that Apple Music has a higher paid customer conversion rate than Spotify, meaning they are turning more potential customers to paid subscribers. The reports adds to Apple's recent Q3 financial reports that the service is beating its competitor in total paid subscribers the U.S., Canada and Japan.

With his company Loup Ventures, tech analyst Gene Munster, recently released a case study about how iOS affects music streaming and found that Apple is converting potential customers to paid subscribers at a 2.5 times faster rate than Spotify currently is. Their research shows Spotify still dominating the overall global market with 62 percent of global paid streaming subscribers (between Spotify, Apple Music and Pandora) and while Apple Music may currently hold only 34 percent, Apple's share has been growing at a faster rate. The study took into account the addressable market for the streaming services, namely that Apple Music is primarily used on iOS devices with only a small segment of Android users, while Spotify can be used on either platform. Additionally, Digital Music News reported that Apple Music now has higher numbers of paid subscribers than Spotify in the U.S., Canada and Japan, which Tim Cook confirmed in Apple's latest financial report for Q3 2018. Munster estimated that Apple Music has 21 million subscribers in North America, while Spotify has 20 million.

Munster highlights the seamless nature of iOS integration as being an advantage for Apple, as Apple Music is preloaded on their devices and can be used across them, and they are also able to prompt users to start a free trial and subscribe. He points to this as playing a big part in their conversion rate, in addition to iPhone users tending to have a higher disposable income. This may just be the tip of the iceberg. As the study shares "Apple Music has room to grow with just 45m subs out of 780m active iPhone users (6%) paying for the service."

While both services offer student, family and individual subscription rates at the same price point, only Spotify offers a free option. Spotify Free has ads and doesn't allow for on-demand listening like their Premium subscription, but it does allow for Spotify to potentially reach more users and also target them to convert to paying customers. The only free option on Apple Music is for the initial free trial, and users must then pay to keep listening with the service, which could possibly be an incentive when deciding to pay or not. As with most free trials, for both services the card on file will be charged if it is not canceled before the end date, but, as Munster points out, it is even more streamlined with Apple Music for iOS users, as it is all linked to your Apple ID.

The family plan option on Spotify may be cutting into their numbers, as up to six users can share a family account instead of paying for their own individual accounts. Digital Media News also reported that Spotify made a recent attempt to crack down on overuse of family plans after recent findings that of just 35 percent of Spotify users that pay for a Premium plan, 24 percent of them are on a family plan. Spotify reportedly sent emails to those on family plans asking to verify their GPS location to confirm that all users live in the same house, but due to backlash they decided to hold on following through with the request. Apple Music's family plan option is an extension of its Family Sharing functionality, meaning all users on the plan have to be linked to one credit card for all users Apple ID purchases, reducing the appeal to share such a plan with friends and extended family like many Spotify users clearly do.

At the end of the day, most music listeners are looking for access to all of the music they want to hear, and an ease of use in their ability to stream on their devices, have access to new releases, create playlists and perhaps find new artists or exclusive content. Spotify has been in the streaming game longer and does a great job at curating tailored playlists for both the individual users and for different genres and moods, but perhaps Apple Music now has a leg up in pushing its streamlined, easy to use functionality on music listeners not yet paying for or committed to a specific service. It would be interesting to see if new data suggests that not having a free use option has a positive effect on paid subscribers, and how that may impact streaming options moving forward. For now not having a free option, as well as having a more restricted family plan may likely allow Apple Music to keep gaining traction on Spotify.

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Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY


Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY

Director Allen Hughes' four-part documentary takes home Best Music Film honors for its portrayal of the unlikely partnership that changed the music business

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 02:09 am

The team behind The Defiant Ones celebrated a big win for Best Music Film at the 60th GRAMMY Awards. The crew awarded include director Allen Hughes and producers Sarah Anthony, Fritzi Horstman, Broderick Johnson, Gene Kirkwood, Andrew Kosove, Laura Lancaster, Michael Lombardo, Jerry Longarzo, Doug Pray & Steven Williams.

In a year rife with quality music documentaries and series, the bar has been set high for this dynamic category. The Defiant Ones is a four-part HBO documentary telling the story of an unlikely duo taking the music business by storm seems better suited for fantastical pages of a comic book, but for engineer-turned-mogul Jimmy Iovine and super-producer Dr. Dre, it's all truth.The Defiant Ones recounts their histories, their tribulations and their wild success. These include first-hand accounts from those who were there in Iovine's early days, such as Bruce Springsteen and U2's Bono, as well as those on board when Dre and Iovine joined forces, such as Snoop Dogg and Eminem.

The competition was stiff as the category was filled with compelling films such as One More Time With Feeling, Two Trains Runnin', Soundbreaking, and Long Strange Trip. 

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Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam

Photo: Kevin Mazur/


Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam's Mike McCready says "if you love music," record stores are the place to find it

GRAMMYs/Feb 13, 2019 - 04:05 am

Record Store Day 2019 will arrive on April 13 and this year's RSD Ambassadors are Pearl Jam. Past ambassadors include Dave Grohl, Metallica, Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P), and 61st GRAMMY Awards winner for Best Rock Song St. Vincent.

McCready was also the 2018 recipient of MusiCares' Stevie Ray Vaughan Award

The band was formed in 1990 by McCready, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Eddie Vedder, and they have played with drummer Matt Cameron since 2002. They have had five albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and four albums reach No. 2.

"Pearl Jam is honored to be Record Store Day's Ambassador for 2019. Independent record stores are hugely important to me," Pearl Jam's Mike McCready said in a statement publicizing the peak-vinyl event. "Support every independent record store that you can. They're really a good part of society. Know if you love music, this is the place to find it."

With a dozen GRAMMY nominations to date, Pearl Jam's sole win so far was at the 38th GRAMMY Awards for "Spin The Black Circle" for Best Hard Rock Performance.

Pearl Jam will be performing on March 3 in Tempe, Ariz. at the Innings festival, on June 15 in Florence, Italy at the Firenze Rocks Festival and at another festival in Barolo, Italy on June 17. On July 6 Pearl Jam will headline London's Wembley Stadium.

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Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs



Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs

Also see James Fauntleroy, Reba McIntire, Latroit, and more after they stepped off the GRAMMY stage

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 05:39 am

What do artists do the moment they walk off the GRAMMY stage from presenting, accepting an award or performing? Now, you can find out.

Take a peak at Album Of The Year GRAMMY winner Bruno Mars, 60th GRAMMY Awards Host James Cordon, Cardi B minutes before her electrifying performance of "Finesse," and more!

Also see Best Pop Duo/Group Performance GRAMMY winners Portugal. The Man posing with their first career GRAMMY Award, Best Roots Gospel Album GRAMMY winner Reba McIntire right after she walked offstage, Best R&B Song GRAMMY winner James Fauntleroy, Best Remixed Recording GRAMMY winner Latroit, and many more, with these photos from backstage during the 60th GRAMMY Awards.

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Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show

Glenn Danzig

Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images


Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show

Dark punk legends to play first show with Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only since last year's Riot Fest reunion

GRAMMYs/Aug 22, 2017 - 05:28 am

There's big news today for punk-rock fans aware that the Misfits made much more than just T-shirts.

The massively influential punk band announced a special show touted as the "only 2017 performance in this world… or any world" and billed as "The Original Misfits" in Los Angeles at the Forum on Dec. 30.

This will be the first Misfits show featuring original singer Glenn Danzig and original bassist Jerry Only with long-time guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein since the band reunited for a pair of Riot Fest appearances in Chicago and Denver in 2016. Last year's Riot Fest gigs, which featured drummer Dave Lombardo, marked the first time in 33 years the original Misfits members played together.

"OK Los Angeles, you've waited almost 35 years for this, here's your chance to see the "Original Misfits" in this Exclusive L.A. only performance." said Glenn Danzig. "No Tour, No BS, just one night of dark metal-punk hardcore brutality that will go down in the history books. See you there."

Tickets for this "one night only" show go on sale Friday, August 25.

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