Report: Apple Music U.S. Subscriptions To Outpace Spotify.

Apple Music is gaining ground on Spotify in the battle for U.S. subscribers. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple Music’s growth rate for U.S. subscribers has risen to five percent monthly compared to Spotify’s two percent monthly growth. If the pace continues, Apple will outpace Spotify by this summer.

Last month Spotify said it has 70 million subscribers to its premium music streaming service. Apple told the Wall Street Journal it now has 36 million subscribers – up from the 30 million it reported in September. Neither company specifies how many subscribers are from the U.S., but the Journal cites record industry insiders as to the stateside subscription growth increases for both companies.

Streaming subscriptions were up 61% in 2017, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, and were the largest source of record-company revenue last year.

The Journal notes that Apple Music comes preloaded on iPhones and Apple Watches, which helps add subscribers to its service. Spotify is the dominant streaming music provider and is larger globally and continues to grow slightly faster, the paper said.

Apple’s fourth quarter earnings were reported at $88.3 billion last month, with Apple Music subscriptions and iTunes download sales accounting for $8.47 billion, an 18% increase year-over-year.

The release of the Apple HomePod, which will play Apple Music exclusively, is expected to boost Apple Music subscriptions when it hits the retail market on Feb. 9.

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