Apple Music now has 38 million paid members

Here’s another tidbit from Eddy Cue’s content-packed SXSW appearance yesterday. Along with a dive into Apple’s video content strategy, the company’s SVP offered up some insight into the health of its music streaming service. Cue noted that Apple Music has hit 38 million paid subscribers — an increase of two million since the company reported last month.

It’s a steady increase, though Spotify’s still the undisputed leader — boasting nearly twice that number. Late last year, the Swedish streaming service reported that, of its 159 million users, 71 million are paid. Of course, Spotify got a serious head start, launching nine years ago (launching in 2011 in the States) to Apple Music’s 2015.

And, as Cue handily pointed out at the event, there are a lot more potential ears up for grabs. The executive suggested that around two billion people qualify as potential streaming music subscribers, possessing both the technological and financial access to get on-board. 

Spotify’s free-tier has gone a ways toward propelling the service, while Apple’s stuck to music exclusives and the benefits of its own product and software ecosystem as a means of getting users on-board. Apple Music is clearly a part of the company’s connected home strategy as well, as the centerpiece of its HomePod smart speaker, which finally launched last month.