Apple Inc on Thursday confirmed than the company's streaming music service has more than 60 million subscribers, trailing rival Spotify Technology SA's 100 million premium subscribers.
A company spokesman confirmed the figure that Eddy Cue, senior vice president of services for the iPhone maker, disclosed in remarks made to French publication Numerama in Paris. Apple executives had not disclosed a new number since May 2018, when the company said it had 50 million Apple Music subscribers.
The 60 million figure includes Apple customers who are on a free trial of Apple Music.
In April, Spotify reported it has 100 million "premium" subscribers. Spotify's definition of premium subscribers also includes those on free trials of its paid service so long as the user has entered a payment method such as a credit card.
When including listeners to its ad-supported service, Spotify has 217 million users. Premium customers pay a monthly fee or are in a free trial of Spotify's premium service, which is ad free. Spotify has a total of 217 million customers including users of its free service.
Apple and Spotify are locked in an antitrust dispute after Spotify filed a complaint with European regulators in March. Spotify's complaint said Apple's control of the App Store, including fees it charges for taking payments through the store, had made it unfairly difficult for rivals to compete for music subscribers.
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Apple charges a 30% fee for in-app purchases made through the App Store, a fee that drops to 15% on subscription purchases after one year.
In exchange, Apple handles all the mechanics of billing and payments in more than 100 countries. But in Apple's response to Spotify's complaint, Apple said that Spotify does not currently pay a 30% fee for any of its premium users and that only a small fraction are affected by its fees.
Following price cuts by domestic music streaming services like JioSaavn and Gaana in India, Apple is now offering Apple Music subscription in India for ₹99/month from the previous of ₹120/month.