Apple’s music service continues to grow at a healthy pace: Apple Music has reached 36 million subscribers worldwide, an Apple spokesperson confirmed to Variety Monday. However, Spotify’s paying subscriber base is still nearly twice as large.
Apple had officially announced last June that Apple Music had reached 27 million subscribers. Three months later, word got out that the service had surpassed 30 million subs.
Spotify announced last month that it had reached 70 million paying subscribers, after announcing 60 million in July of 2017. Spotify hasn’t given an update on its active users, which include consumers who only listen to ad-supported music since last June, when it disclosed 140 million monthly actives.
Apple’s new milestone announcement comes as Spotify is expected to go public via a direct listing as opposed to a traditional IPO any day now. Reactions to this rarely-used process have been mixed, with some arguing that it’s a publicity stunt that could go wrong, while others see it as a show of strength.
As for Apple Music, the company is likely going to look to continue its growth with a mix of original content and new technology this year. Apple has been on a buying spree for original video, and is projected to spend as much as $4.2 billion on its own shows by 2022. The company also acquired music recognition startup Shazam for a reported $400 million in late 2017, and is expected to closely align it with Apple Music going forward.