Though Spotify claims 50 million paid subscribers to Apple’s circa 20 million, new figures have shown Apple is leading in monthly mobile users.
During February 2017, Apple had 40.7 million unique mobile users, while Spotify had 30.4 million.
While the figures, released by mobile analytics company Verto, track PC visits for Spotify, it doesn’t track desktop users for Apple Music, indicating that the actual number of users might be higher still.
So, how does Apple manage 40.7 million users when it claims a paid subscription user base half that? It’s the very generous three-month free trial that Apple offers which is bringing in the listeners. Apparently, a significant number are still signing up to it. Although it’s hard to say how many of those listeners will become long-term subscribers.
Guide: Not using Apple Music yet? Read our handy guide to Apple’s streaming service
However, you can extrapolate from further information that many of those free-trialers are yet to engage fully – the figures show the monthly active sessions. Apple Music users notch up an average of just 12, compared to Spotify’s 51.
Elsewhere, Pandora managed 32.6 million users, iHeartRadio had 28.5 million, and SoundCloud has 25.7 million rounding out the top five streaming services.
The figures were pulled from a 20,000 SmartPanel users in the US and UK. Those are users that opt-in to Verto’s metering app on their device. The company then combines the data with more information it collects from analytics and advertising platforms across nearly half a billion devices.
While Apple continues to grow its paid userbase, the Apple Music team will no doubt be buoyed by reaching the top spot on this list.
It will also no doubt add fire to the rivalry between Apple Music and Spotify. Spotify recently announced it would be producing a new music video series called Traffic Jams. And yes, that’s exactly what it sounds like – a knock off Carpool Karaoke, the series Apple is producing for exclusive viewing on Apple Music.
TechCrunch initially analyzed the figures provided by Verto, and it’s an interesting read if you want to learn more about the behaviour of music streamers, and other streaming services.
Keep reading: Apple Music helps redefine music industry, but Spotify still king