Apple Stock Hits Another Record, Helped By Services Business

Saul Franklin
March 14, 2018

It is unclear whether Apple's music streaming service will ever be able to defeat Spotify, which has 70 million users that pay for the service and 159 million monthly users that access the company's ad-supported features. Eddy Cue, senior vice president of internet software and services, disclosed the number at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, Reuters reports. The leading streaming music provider remains Spotify, which has 71 million paid customers for its premium service.

Spotify launched in South Africa on Monday afternoon - bringing its 35-million-song music catalogue to local users at last.

That suggests the company will need to use its clout to strike more lucrative deals in the coming years if it wants to turn a profit from a growing subscriber base as it battles Apple, Amazon.com Inc and Google. Spotify is adding new subscribers at a 2% pace every month. Google does not release paid subscriber numbers for its service, Google Play Music.

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The platform has a free version, which is supported with advertising, and a premium one, which is available for a subscription of Euro 4.99 per month. Spotify users who have been using worldwide accounts can change to SA in Spotify's settings, where the country now appears as an option. Just a few months since then, Apple Music is now reporting a total of 38 million paying subscribers, and 8 million trial users.

The executive also talked up the company's announced acquisition of magazine aggregator Texture and played down any thoughts of acquiring Netflix or other media players, saying that Apple's own $1 billion budget for original content this year is plenty good enough. Both Apple and Spotify charge $9.99 a month for their unlimited streaming services. There is also a free tier.

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