Apple Music still isn’t topping the charts — but now it’s half as big as Spotify when it comes to official subscribers.
Jimmy Iovine, the boss of Apple’s music-streaming service, revealed to Billboard magazine Thursday that it now has 30 million paid subscribers. That’s a 3 million increase since it reported numbers in June, having launched in early 2015.
Meanwhile, eight-year-old Spotify, the world’s biggest music streamer, announced in July that it has 60 million paying subscribers, up from 50 million in March.
At those rates, Apple Music appears to be limping in the race, having taken since last December to add its latest 10 million subscribers.
Sweden-based Spotify’s value in private markets reportedly reached $16 billion this week, up from $13 billion in June, as it gears up to go public next year.
Indeed, Spotify lately has landed a few hits at the expense of Apple Music.
In June, Taylor Swift announced that her music would be returning to Spotify, nixing her exclusive deal with Apple Music to stream her smash album “1989.”
And earlier this month, Spotify and Hulu announced a partnership that would give college students access to both of their premium services for a $5 monthly fee.
But to hear Iovine tell it, Apple Music is still taking its first steps, and he believes it will overtake Spotify in the long run because of Apple’s nearly endless resources.
“[Spotify’s] costs are extraordinary. It’s going to get bigger and bigger and bigger, and the costs are going to get higher, not lower,” he told Billboard.
“Going into new countries means localizing everything. It’s going to cost a lot of money.”
Services like Apple Music and Spotify accounted for 62 percent of the music industry’s revenue so far this year. But Iovine said simply streaming existing music catalogs isn’t enough. He thinks these companies need to help artists create more, rather than relying on their libraries of aging songs.
“We’ve loaded as…