Still Too Early To Talk About Apple Music Numbers
The popularity of Apple’s music streaming service is being questioned, following its first release of user numbers. The firm claims Apple Music has 11m users signed up to its first free three-month trial, but a new survey from Music Watch (based admittedly on only 5,000 responses) questions how many of those users are actually active. It claims that of the iOS customers in the US who have tried it, 48% are not currently using it. It’s also true that it’s normal for the first weeks and months of new product launches see an initial surge and then shake-out of users and that this is just one of the reasons why it’s too early to draw too many well-founded conclusions about the service (including that it’s yet to launch on Android).
What’s perhaps more surprising is that Apple took the time to refute that number. It told The Verge 79% of trialists are currently using the service – much higher than the 52% claimed by the survey. If that sounds a bit defensive, then maybe that’s because it is. But it once again underpins the fact that the most meaningful figures will only emerge once the free trial ends. Even then it will only be three-months old.
Drilling down into the survey, 77% of polled US iOS users say they are aware of Apple Music, and 11% say they’re using it. Not a huge number. To put this into context, MusicWatch says that the percentage of iOS users buying digital downloads on iTunes is 40% – the report concluding this suggests uptake of Apple Music could be better.
The report says the launch isn’t impacting on existing streaming services with “very few” respondents saying they’ve stopped using online radio, audio on-demand or video streaming services, and just 28% of Premium Spotify users saying they’re using the service.
What does this tell us? Not much yet. In many ways Apple Music is a long-term play for the company. Having the service baked into its devices and its deep pockets for marketing, licensing and streaming costs mean that Apple is well-positioned to ride out a protracted battle with incumbents. Yes, it is a latecomer to music streaming, but not only does that mean it’s entering the market at a time when streaming is mainstream, piggybacking on the work pioneers like Spotify did to get it there, with millions – if not billions – of consumers yet to come online, the addressable market remains huge still.
With Apple Music and Pay numbers seeming to surface simultaneously, it looks like Apple’s mobile payments service is doing well with Apple watch owners. A new survey from Wristly says that in a survey of 1,000 people, 80% of Watch owners have used Apple Pay and 19% tried out the service for the first time using the device. The findings claim that among those not using the service, 29% say it’s because their bank or card issuer doesn’t support it yet. With Apple steadily adding more banks and cards and still only available in the US and UK, this is another long-term play from the business.