Apple has gone public with the first figures for its debut music-streaming service — Apple Music — after senior VP Eddie Cue told USA Today that it had garnered over 11 million users in its first five weeks of life. The company had previously only revealed that Apple Music had “millions and millions” of subscribers.
Apple Music launched at the end of June, offering customers an initial three-month-free trial so it remains to be seen what portion of those 11 million will convert to paying customers once the free music train ends. For comparison, Spotify counts 20 million paying users, and an additional 55 million on its free, ad-supported tier. Elsewhere, French rival Deezer claims 6 million paying users worldwide (in addition to 10 million free users), while Jay Z’s Tidal has fewer than 1 million paying customers.
Cue also revealed that 2 million of Apple Music’s activated users opted for its more expensive family plan, but, again, these are people using the service without charge for now.
As a first take, the figures are interesting but the real test is still to come. Apple’s variable international pricing (the service is as cheap as $2 per month India) gives it a shot at hitting some kind of scale, although in some markets the quality of the upcoming Android app (yes, Apple Music will be on Android) will be important for mainstream audiences. But the lack of a free tier, which competitors do offer, could restrict adoption.