Apple pulled back the curtain somewhat on its Apple Music streaming service, releasing numbers that firmly establish it as the number-two music streaming platform, behind only Spotify.
On the company’s quarterly earnings call Tuesday afternoon, Apple CEO Tim Cook said revenues for Apple Music had grown by more than 50% on a year-to-year basis, and that it now had more than 50 million subscribers, between paid users and those still in the free trial period.
Cook dismissed the idea that Apple has to steal users from Spotify (which has 83 million paid subscribers) to compete, instead suggesting that the streaming music ecosystem still has room to grow.
“We're doing quite well, but really, the key thing in music is not the competition between companies that are providing music. The real challenge is to grow the market, because if you add everyone up that's providing subscription music today or streaming music, it's less than 200 million probably around the world,” Cook said.
“And so it does seem to me there's an extraordinary opportunity in that business to grow the market well and I think if we put our emphasis there, which we're doing, we will be a beneficiary of that, as other people will as well.”
Apple also teased its upcoming TV and video plans. No one knows exactly what Apple will be doing with the slate of TV shows it has ordered (a new standalone service? A free, ad-supported offering?), but Cook mentioned “new services” and a “project” in the works from that team, adding that “we've got great talent in the area that we've sourced from different places and feel really good about what we will eventually offer.”
Cook said “cord-cutting, in our view, is only going to accelerate -- and probably accelerate at a much faster rate than is widely thought.”
The company is planning to take advantage of that trend, not only through its video strategy, but through its Apple TV product as well. Cook said that based on the company's data, the number of paid video subscriptions (as for Netflix and Hulu) are up more than 100% year over year, suggestive of the larger opportunity.