In 2003 Apple was the catalyst in the rise of the digital music marketplace with the release of iTunes Store, and in 2015 Apple launched its very own music streaming service Apple Music. This allowed them to compete with fellow streaming services Spotify, Tidal and Deezer. Apple Music allows users to stream their iCloud library and discover new music releases, live radio, concerts, personalised playlists and ‘For You’ recommendations. The subscriptions include Individual (£9.99 p/m), Family (£14.99 p/m) and a Student service (£4.99 p/m).
Two years later, during Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference in San Jose the company announced that the service now has over 27 million subscribers. Previously in December 2016, they had announced the service had 20 million subscribers, meaning the subscriber count has grown an impressive 7 million in just 6 short months. The company however, is still behind its main competitor, Spotify, who announced in March this year that they had surpassed 50 million premium subscribers.
Apple Music released a new update of the platform that will be available to users in September following the release of iOS 11, allowing users to use the MusicKit API to play full songs in the app. The introduction of Apple Music profiles allows users to connect with friends and see what they are listening to, enabling them to add music to their ‘Up Next Queue’. Similar to Spotify, users will also be able to listen to music on private or public mode. The app’s pre-installation on devices and free trial offer has proven successful in enticing users to try and subscribe to the service.
A report released by the BPI earlier this year revealed that streaming sales would now surpass physical sales of music. As a result, streaming sales would now be the biggest income generator for the UK Record Industry. It seems that digital music streaming platforms/services are becoming more and more accessible and favourable of listeners with its revenues at a five-year high in 2016.