Industry

Apple Music continues to grow, but aims for 2 billion subscribers

Apple Music continues to grow, but aims for 2 billion subscribers

Apple's Apple Music streaming service, which has been No. 2 in US subscribers behind Spotify AB, is quickly gaining ground against its rival and may overtake it this summer.

In the world of streaming music, it's really down to Apple Music versus Spotify. Spotify offers a free tier of service that is supported by ads. Other competitors include Google Music, Tidal, Deezer and Napster.

The South Africa launch comes as Spotify prepares for a direct listing for its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, which will let investors and employees sell shares without the company raising new capital or hiring Wall Street banks to underwrite the issue.

Further details about the Spotify service, pricing and content will be made at the press conference.

Speculation emerged in September 2017 of a local launch after the company placed a job advertisement for a senior editor and music programmer for South Africa. A subscription for Apple Music and (Google) Play Music also costs Euro 5 per month. Meantime, it has taken 5 months for Apple Music to gain 8 million subscribers. Spotify pays out more than 70 percent of revenue to the music business, and the cost of royalty payments to record labels and publishers has prevented one rival that got an earlier start, Pandora Media Inc., from turning a consistent profit.

This is the first time Spotify will be available on the African continent. Naspers also recently launched music streaming platform Joox, from China's Tencent, in which it holds a 33.2% stake.


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