Apple Music Hits 11M Subscribers, Pushing for 100M

Apple Music, the streaming music service Apple launched just over a month ago, already has 11 million trial members which puts it at a little over half the number of subscribers Spotify has after about ten years. Apple's subscribers are all in a three month free trial phase so that number could drop dramatically, but Apple is hoping it'll go up instead. The company wants to blow past all of its competitors combined and hit 100 million subscribers.

Apple Music subscribers hit 11 million after first monthApple Music subscribers hit 11 million after first month

Apple senior vice president of Internet software and services Eddy Cue told USA Today, "We're thrilled with the numbers so far."

The company's streaming music service comes with a free three month trial, then costs US$9.99 a month, or $14.99 a month for families up to six people. Apple Music includes the online radio station Beats 1, as well as human curated playlists, and 30 million songs subscribers can listen to online or download to their computer or iOS device.

Apple plans to expand its potential subscriber base to include Android OS devices this fall. Currently, Apple Music is available for Macs and Windows PCs, as well as iOS devices and Apple Watch.

11 million subscribers in a month may sound like a lot, but none of those are paying yet. It's likely a substantial number will cancel their subscription before the first payment kicks in, leaving Apple with far fewer users come October. The real trick for Apple will be to find ways to entice trial users to leave auto-payments turned on at the end of the three month window.

Apple sees the challenge in that, and apparently a big hurdle will be getting people outside the United States to understand exactly what Apple Music is. Jimmy Iovine, Beats (now Apple Music) co-founder said the company is working outside the U.S. to make that clear and to show people how Apple Music works.

He added that there are other obstacles to overcome, too. "There's still the issue of winning over millennials, who never pay for music, by showing them you're offering something that will improve their lives," Mr. Iovine said. "And finally, there are people out there who I think understand its value, but we still have to go out and get them."

Apple has jumped into a market that already has the likes of Spotify and Pandora for competition, and Rhapsody, Rdio, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and other companies are fighting for some of that action, too.

Come October, Apple Music will very likely have fewer than 11 million paying subscribers. The trick now will be to find away to keep drawing in new trial members, and then convince them to stay.

[Some image elements courtesy Shutterstock]