Apple has 38 million subscribers (and it foresees many millions more)

Apple’s Eddy Cue shared some updates and milestones about the tech company’s streaming music service at SXSW. The senior vice president for Internet software and services announced that Apple Music now has 38 million subscribers. That’s 2 million added to the audience in just over a month. Providing critical context, he also noted that 8 million listeners are tuning in through the free trial of the subscription-only music platform.

In his interview, Cue noted that there’s plenty of potential growth yet to come in subscription stream. “If you look at the number of subscribers Spotify and Apple Music have together, versus the number of people listening to music around the world, or even the amount of traffic to our App Store – we have half a billion people visiting the App Store every week – music is just this big in the grand scheme of things,” he said, gesturing to indicate music as a small portion. “There are easily 2 billion people in the world who can afford to pay for some level of music, yet Spotify and Apple Music combined have only around 100 million subs globally. There’s a huge gap there and we both have to grow by a significant amount in order to get to the numbers that we should be at.”

He also waved off questions about Spotify as a rival. “I think Spotify is doing just fine,” he said. “The opportunity here – and it’s not just about us, Spotify, labels or artists – is about sheer growth for music streaming, about compensating for that audience gap.”

Cue’s keynote discussion also touched on the HomePod and on augmented reality.

Anna Washenko