Apple Music Was Second Biggest Global Music Streaming Service in 2019

Global online music streaming subscriptions were up 32 percent year-over-year in 2019, hitting 358 million subscribers, according to new estimates shared today by Counterpoint Research.


Spotify was the market leader with a 31 percent share of total revenue and a 35 percent share of total paid subscriptions, while Apple Music earned the second place slot with a 24 percent share of total revenues in the industry and a 19 percent share of the total paid subscriptions. ‌Apple Music‌'s subscription base grew an estimated 36 percent year-over-year.

Amazon Music, YouTube Music, and Tencent Music all trailed both ‌Apple Music‌ and Spotify.
"Spotify maintained its top spot with the help of promotional activities like free Spotify Premium for three months, price cuts, customized campaigns like Spotify and a focus on exclusive content. Tech giants like Amazon, Apple, Google have started focusing on music streaming and have sufficient cash at their disposal to give stiff competition to Spotify. ‌Apple Music‌ is making improvements in its app like the introduction of night mode, curated playlists to target a group, etc. Similarly, Amazon Music has been trying lossless music and is creating its own niche where it competes with Tidal."
More than 80 percent of total streaming music revenue came from paid subscriptions, while the rest came from advertisements and partnerships with brands and telcos.

Counterpoint Research believes that online streaming music subscriptions will grow more than 25 percent year-over-year to exceed 450 million subscriptions by the end of 2020.

Apple last shared specific ‌Apple Music‌ subscriber numbers in June 2019, announcing that the service had reached 60 million paid subscribers. That number is likely quite a bit higher now, but Apple has not shared new official subscriber totals in 2020.
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Spotify Now Supports Siri on Apple Watch

Spotify now supports Siri voice commands on any Apple Watch running watchOS 6, as spotted by 9to5Mac.

With the latest version of the app, rolling out on the App Store, Apple Watch users can say "Hey Siri, play music on Spotify" or any other voice command with "on Spotify" to control Spotify playback without opening the app directly.

Spotify gained Siri support on iPhones and iPads as of iOS 13 after Apple opened up its SiriKit framework to third-party music, podcasts, audiobooks, and radio apps.
Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6
Tags: Siri, Spotify
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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Spotify Kids Launches in Canada, France, and the US

Spotify has launched its standalone app for children in Canada, France, and the United States. Called Spotify Kids, the family-friendly version of the music streaming service is exclusively for Premium Family subscribers and comes tailored for children aged three and up.


The service was originally launched as a beta in Ireland last year and has since rolled out to Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Mexico, New Zealand, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Spotify says the app now has 30 percent more content than when it first launched, including 8,000 songs, 125 playlists, sing-alongs, soundtracks, and audiobooks.
Now, at a time when so many kids are home from school, we're bringing the experience to even more people as the app rolls out in the U.S., Canada, and France — and we hope parents there will find it useful as well.
The app also touts educational content for kids, including a playlist hub called Learning which features songs that teach kids about counting, the ABC's, science, and more.

Children can also find a new global playlist with songs to help them learn general hygiene best practices, like how to wash their hands and cough and sneeze properly into their elbows.

Spotify says it is working alongside children's brands like Disney Music Group, KIDZ BOP, and Nickelodeon to make the app a unique experience, so expect more content soon.

The Spotify Kids app is available to download for free on the App Store for iPhone and iPad. [Direct Link]
Tag: Spotify

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Spotify Updates Mobile and Tablet Apps With New Home Screen for Quicker Access to Favorites

Spotify today updated its home screen on iOS and Android, providing users with an easier way to access their favorite songs, playlists, and albums. This update will also appear on the Spotify app for tablets.


The main change can be found at the top portion of the home screen, which now greets users with a "Good morning" message. This area recommends songs, playlists, and albums that are the most "familiar" to each user, and Spotify said it was built to quickly access albums you've been listening to repeatedly and current podcasts.

As the day progresses, the app will transition to "Good afternoon" and "Good evening" messages, and update with new content. In total, six pieces of content can be found in this new section of the home screen on Spotify, but they aren't user customizable.

Below this area is where you can find top podcasts, "Made for you" playlists, recommendations for new music based on your listening habits, and more. Overall, Spotify said that its new update should make it "easier than ever to find something to listen to."
Tag: Spotify

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Spotify May Be Allowed to Stream Directly on HomePod and Set as Default Music App in iOS 14

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman today reported that Apple is working to allow third-party music services like Spotify and Pandora to be streamed directly on the HomePod with Siri in a future software update, as is possible with Apple Music. Spotify currently can only be streamed on the HomePod via AirPlay.


The report adds that Apple is also considering allowing third-party music services to be set as default in iOS 14, which would let users ask Siri to stream music from the likes of Spotify without specifying "with Spotify" at the end of the command. Siri currently defaults to Apple Music for these requests.

In early 2019, Spotify announced that it had filed an antitrust complaint against Apple with the European Commission over unfair ‌App Store‌ practices. At the time, Spotify took issue with Siri's lack of Spotify support on both iOS devices — which has since changed to a limited extent — and the HomePod.

An excerpt from its "Time to Play Fair" website — the wording has since been tweaked:
Apple ignores users' preferred choice of music service and instead steers them to use Apple Music exclusively. So can you ask Siri to play your favorite playlist from Spotify? No, not even if you actively want Spotify to be your default streaming service. Or can you listen to Spotify through your Apple HomePod? Sorry, no luck with that either. And by the way, Spotify is available on pretty much every other speaker device out there.
Apple has faced increasing scrutiny as of late over the way it runs its ‌App Store‌, beyond Spotify's complaint. Allowing third-party apps to be set as default would certainly help alleviate some of those concerns.

More Coverage: Bloomberg: Apple May Let iOS Users Set Third-Party Web Browser and Mail Apps as Defaults Over Stock Apps

Related Roundup: HomePod
Buyer's Guide: HomePod (Neutral)

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Spotify’s New Feature Builds Playlists for Your Pets Based on Their Personality Traits and Your Listening History

Spotify today announced "Pet Playlists," which builds custom playlists for a cat, dog, iguana, hamster, or bird (via The Verge). The playlist generator combines your pet's personality traits with your own listening history on Spotify, building a list of songs that the company says both you and your pet can enjoy.


To get your Pet Playlist, visit Spotify's new Pet Playlist website, choose an animal, and then answer questions about their personality and temperament. Spotify will combine this information with your listening habits to create a Pet Playlist that's automatically added to your library, filled with about 30 songs.
While music for pets isn’t an exact science, we consulted with experts in the pet industry for the best approximation for what might work best for our featured animals. Incidentally, we only use the information you provide us to create your Pet Playlist. The information is not stored and is not used for any other purpose.
When subscribers were last counted, Spotify had 113 million Premium subscribers as of October 2019, compared to Apple Music's 60 million as of June 2019. According to Spotify, the streaming service is growing twice as fast as ‌Apple Music‌.

‌Apple Music‌ finally caught up to Spotify in one area in 2019, introducing a "Replay" feature that let its users track their most-played songs from the previous year, as well as every single year since they started using ‌Apple Music‌.

Tag: Spotify

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How to Use Spotify’s Sleep Timer Feature on iPhone and iPad

Spotify added a Sleep Timer to its Android app earlier this year, and this week, it's making the feature available for Spotify users on iPhone and iPad. Keep reading to learn how to use the Sleep Timer and get a good night's sleep.


What's the Spotify Sleep Timer For?


Basically, the Sleep Timer feature is for anyone who goes to bed with Spotify playing on their iOS device and wants it to automatically stop playing after they've fallen asleep.

It's a useful function to have if you don't want your ‌iPhone‌ playing through that carefully chosen playlist or podcast series when you're not awake to enjoy it. It can also help save your battery, and potentially your data allowance if you're streaming over cellular.

How to Use the Spotify Sleep Timer


Spotify is rolling out the feature via a software update, so make sure you've downloaded the latest version of the Spotify app from the App Store before following these steps. If you don't see the function in the Spotify app, check back later in the day, by which time the rollout will have hopefully reached you.

  1. Launch the Spotify app on your ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌.

  2. Start playing your music or podcast of choice.

  3. Select the "now playing" screen so that the artwork and playback controls are front and center.

  4. If you're listening to music, tap the three dots in the top-right corner of the screen. If you're listening to a podcast, tap the little moon icon in the bottom-right corner.

  5. Scroll down and select Sleep Timer from the list of options that appear.

  6. Select a duration for your timer. There are six increments to choose from, between five minutes and an hour. If you're quick to fall asleep, choose End of track or End of episode.
You'll can tell that the Sleep Timer function is active by the moon icon that appears next to the playback controls. If you set a timer and you haven't fallen asleep yet, you can go back in and tap either Turn off Timer or select more time.

If you're at a loss for what to listen to at bedtime, head to Spotify's Sleep selection of playlists for some quick inspiration.

Tag: Spotify

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Spotify Reaches 113 Million Paying Subscribers, Says It’s Growing Twice as Fast as Apple Music

Spotify today announced that its streaming music service has reached 113 million paying subscribers as of September 30, up from 108 million as of June 30. Spotify's monthly active user count also increased to 248 million through September, inclusive of users listening to its free, ad-supported tier.


In a letter to shareholders, part of its third quarter earnings results, Spotify said that publicly available data indicates that it is adding roughly twice as many subscribers per month as Apple Music:
We continue to feel very good about our competitive position in the market. Relative to Apple, the publicly available data shows that we are adding roughly twice as many subscribers per month as they are. Additionally, we believe that our monthly engagement is roughly 2x as high and our churn is at half the rate.
‌Apple Music‌ had 60 million paying subscribers as of late June, according to Apple's services chief Eddy Cue. Spotify has remained nearly twice as large as ‌Apple Music‌ in terms of paying subscribers over the last year.


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Spotify Gains Siri Support on iOS 13 and CarPlay, Apple TV App Launching Later Today

Spotify today updated its mobile app to include Siri support, which means iPhone and iPad users running iOS 13 can now use Siri to control their favorite music streaming service, just like Apple Music subscribers.

After updating the app, users simply need to invoke Siri on their device and ask the voice assistant to play an album or song "with Spotify." Commands for playing playlists work the same way.

According to Spotify's release notes, Siri support is compatible over connected AirPods and also extends to CarPlay and HomePod via AirPlay. On iPhones and iPads running iOS 13, Spotify will also now turn on its Data Saver feature when a device has Low Data Mode enabled.

In addition, the streaming service says Spotify is "now available on Apple TV," although it isn't showing up in the tvOS App Store as of writing, so rollout is likely scheduled for later in the day.

Tag: Spotify

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Congress Reportedly Asks Spotify for Information on Apple’s Alleged Anticompetitive Behavior

The U.S. Congress has requested information from Spotify related to its anticompetitive allegations against Apple, according to Reuters.


From the report:
The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee reached out to the music streaming service with broad requests for information, according to one source, who added the request to the company was narrowed in follow up telephone calls.
In March, Spotify announced it filed an antitrust complaint against Apple with the European Commission over unfair App Store practices. Spotify took particular issue with Apple charging a 30 percent "tax" on only certain App Store purchases, calling it "discriminatory."

Apple only charges a commission on in-app purchases tied to digital goods, so apps providing real goods and services like Uber are exempt.

Apple also forbids Spotify and other developers from alerting users that they can sign up for a subscription or complete a purchase outside of its iOS app, and disallows Spotify from advertising deals to its customers in the app or by email, as these practices would circumvent Apple's in-app purchase system.

Apple has faced increasing scrutiny as of late over the way it runs its App Store. In response, Apple said the App Store "welcomes competition," noting that it was created to be "a safe and trusted place for customers to discover and download apps" and "a great business opportunity for all developers."

Apple labeled Spotify's complaint as "misleading rhetoric" and claimed that "Spotify wants all the benefits of a free app without being free," later adding that Spotify pays Apple a 15 percent commission for only about 0.5 percent of its paying subscribers as part of its official response to the complaint.


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