Apple Music Passes 50 Million Subscribers, Including Free Trials

Apple Music’s streaming service now has more than 50 million users via paid subscriptions and free trials, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced today during an interview on Bloomberg TV.

While the number seemingly marks a huge jump for the service — which announced 36 million subscribers in February, 38 million in March and 40 million in April — Cook’s decision to include free trials, which were at 8 million at the time of the 40 million announcement and not included in that figure, keeps it on the more modest but still very impressive 2-million-paid-subscriber-per-month track it has posted throughout this year.

The service still lags behind Spotify, which announced that it has reached 75 million mark in its first earnings report as a public company earlier this month, but its subscriber count is actually growing at a slower rate than Apple’s; it shows a monthly growth rate of 5% versus Spotify’s 2%, per a recent report in WSJ.

Last month Apple also announced the promotion of Oliver Schusser to lead Apple Music Worldwide. His new title is vice president of Apple Music & International Content. Schusser has led efforts outside the U.S. related to the App Store, iTunes’ movies and TV portals, iBooks, Apple Podcasts, and more. He has worked closely with Apple svp of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue, who hired Schusser some 14 years ago.

Schusser will relocate from London to California, splitting his time between Apple Park in Cupertino and Apple’s offices in Culver City. While in the U.K., he played a key role in the acquisition of Shazam, which has yet to receive European regulatory approval. He will continue to lead international teams in 38 different offices.

With Oliver’s promotion, Apple marketing executive Tracey Hannelly will lead International, which services 155 markets. She joined the company in 2007 beginning in Australia and New Zealand. While working as a director in the international sector, Hannelly was instrumental in identifying emerging markets.

The appointments have no impact on the current standing of Jimmy Iovine, says an insider. Schusser, who previously held positions at Bertelsmann, Universal, Napster and Vodafone, will report to Cue, and Hannelly to Schusser.

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