The NMPA announces the total number of Apple Music subscribers and other DSP subscribers at the agency’s annual meeting in New York.
While some digital service providers (DSPs) openly report their subscriber numbers, others, such as Apple, prefer to keep this information private. That is, explained David Israelite on annual meeting The National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) in New York announced last month that for the first time the NMPA was able to count the number of subscribers each platform reached in the United States.
“This is information that hasn’t been released before — some of these companies are reporting on their subscribers; some don’t,” said Israelite, CEO and President of the NMPA.
Spotify had 44.4 million paying subscribers in the US as of February, while the company’s biggest competitor, Apple Music, reportedly has 32.6 million subscribers — making it the second-largest subscription music service on the market.
In the past, Apple has disclosed very little about how many subscribers pay to stream music on its platform. The company confirmed in June 2019 that Apple Music has more than 60 million subscribers worldwide. Since then, however, no official numbers have surfaced, nor have specific numbers for the US surfaced to date.
Israelite announces that Amazon Music is the third largest subscription music streaming service in the US with 29.3 million subscribers. On January 22, 2020, the company first released its global growth metrics and announced that it has more than 55 million customers (paying subscribers plus trial users) worldwide.
YouTube ranked fourth with 8.5 million subscribers in February, according to NMPA data, while Pandora had 2.4 million. YouTube’s U.S. subscriber count seems low considering the company will have 80 million music and premium subscribers worldwide as of 2022 — but given YouTube’s ability to bundle a music subscription with premium, it’s on the up hand, that comparatively fewer users only subscribe to YouTube Music without also having Premium.
While it’s difficult to determine which companies are reporting data through their bundle options rather than their standalone music platforms, many of these companies have increased their subscription prices while maintaining subscriber growth.
Israelite says that the fact that both Apple Music and Amazon Music saw growth after raising their prices in the United States “shows that music continues to be undervalued in the pricing of digital music services.” We’ve got a long way to go way ahead. But I’m confident that this new information will give the industry the push it needs to get pricing where it should be.”