Spotify is obviously a giant when it comes to streaming music, but I predict that Apple Music will surpass Spotify within the next two years.
Spotify has been around since 2006, and as of March 2016 had over thirty million subscribed users, which is quite incredible. However, Apple music is not too far behind, with ten million subscribers and continues steady growth. Sure, in comparison to Spotify those numbers do not look like much, but considering Apple Music only started on June 30, 2015, that is impressive.
Why do I think that Apple will surpass Spotify in only two years? Because Apple has something going for them that Spotify will never have; it is integrated right into the world's most popular smartphone, the iPhone, and other Apple devices. Consumers love it when you can make their lives easier, or when something just becomes a part of their daily interactions. Personally, I like the fact that I can just raise my wrist and tell my Apple watch to play a song on my iPhone or say to my iPhone, 'Hey Siri, play Bon Jovi' and away it goes.
Unless Apple does something incredible with Apple music that begins to draw more people from other services at a quicker rate, I foresee steady growth over the next two years which will put Apple at the top.
The reality is that these streaming services are pretty much all the same, so the bottom line is that if you are going to pay ten, fifteen dollars a month to one of the subscriptions, it just makes sense to go with the one that you have already invested time, money, and infrastructure into.
A perfect example of this is Apple Maps. I will be the first to admit that it still requires allot of improvement, and fails in comparison to Google Maps, but according to the Associated Press, as of December 2015, it was being used three times more often than its, "next leading competitor," namely Google Maps. The thing is consumers love the integrated convenience, and that will always overshadow a different product, even when the other product may be better.
Think of it this way. You buy a new Apple device; you start to set it up, and you are prompted to sign up for the Apple Music free three-month trial. So, of course, you do because it is free, and who does not like free. After the free subscription runs out, most people will just keep the service. Because, again, no one is offering anything that is that much different.
As it is though, Apple Music is pretty darn good. It has got roughly thirty million songs in its database and does a good job at curating playlist that appeals to the user. It offers, 'Beats 1' and 'Radio' although, I must say that 'Radio' can be repetitive sometimes, which is surprising considering the thirty million song library.
The real challenge for streaming services, like Spotify or Pandora, are the record label companies. Apple, Amazon and Google have other products and service generating money that allows it to offset losses, whereas Spotify, and Pandora are music streaming focused, and the record labels will try and squeeze them dry.