So, How Many Paying Apple Music Subscribers are Left?

Since most Apple Music trial runs are over, several questions have been raised – the one that stands out most is this: how many subscribed to the service after the three month trial period?

Apple entered the music streaming service scene at a bit of a questionable time, with Spotify, Pandora, and Rdio already providing millions of free music to tens of millions of subscribers to a saturated market. They have already established themselves as the industry leaders.

So, did Apple somehow make a dent in the streaming market? How many free trial subscribers are there and did people subscribe to it? Let’s try to find out:

A breakdown of the numbers

Image from Fortune.

The first batch of the free trials ended two weeks ago which showed the data of the survey by, which took the info from 1,350 Apple Watch users. The data was gathered from October 6-9. It does not represent the overall performance of Apple Music alone, considering that those who own and use Apple Watch are a minority. Regardless, the Apple Music user data is still interesting, as Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt writes.

Let’s interpret, simplify, and break down the data:

  • 29% of the respondents did not try Apple Music.
  • 20% said that they were trying the service, though they won’t be subscribing to it.
  • 6% said they’re currently trying and will subscribe in the future.
  • 19% said they bought an individual subscription.
  • 23% said they bought or subscribed to a family plan.

The data implies that nearly half of the respondents won’t subscribe Apple Music, while the other half have subscribed or is set to try it out.

Solid numbers, but far from stellar

Apple Music had a respectable start: though numbers are hazy at the moment, Apple states that it had over 11 million subscribers last August and the figure had grown to 15 million by September. However, these are users who have signed up for the trial run, not for the paying service.

Note that Apple Music does not have a free version: after the trial, you either pay $9.99 a month ($14.99 for a family plan) to avail the streaming service. This unlike industry leader Spotify which has both a paid and a free service. Recently, renowned music producer Jimmy Iovine, who is now part of Apple’s team, blasted Spotify, made it publicly known that he hates free music, and wants the industry to agree with him.

However, with the 15 million figure, Apple Music still pales in comparison to Spotify, with the latter having over 75-million subscribers and at the same time dishing out a free but ad-based version. Also remember that it is unclear that majority of the 15 million free trial users stuck around with the service.

A cause for concern and optimism


Though it entered the scene with a bang, Apple Music was quickly criticized, with numerous users complaining about the unfriendly user interface making it horrendously difficult to use. So far, Apple has rolled out updates, but there are still several key areas Apple Music needs to improve on. Its lackluster user experience design is uncharacteristic of Apple and it could well be the cause of its free trial users to ditch it.

However, there also a few reasons Apple can be optimistic of Since the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus rolled in nearly three weeks ago and the iOS 9 coming with Apple Music, we could see the numbers increase significantly. iPhone users could give the service a try – after all, it’s a built-in app and you can get three months for free.

So far, Apple hasn’t released concrete numbers as of late and it’s still to early to assume that Apple Music is either a success or a bust. Regardless, the outlook is promising and it’s interesting to see what will unfold in the next few months.

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