Apple Music debuted with much fanfare earlier this year followed by a 90-day free trial that ended September 30. Did you stay on at $10 a month or did you bail?
If you bailed, you’re not alone. According to a number of sources, 40% of those who sampled the subscription are gone, leaving behind 6.5 million people willing to pay. Of that number, it’s hard to say how many are paying because they forgot to turn off the auto-renew feature which immediately enrolled them.
So is this good or bad? Depends on how you want to spin this. Deezer apparently has 6.3 million subs, although it’s said that about half of those are inactive. Spotify claims 20 million paying subscribers, but they’ve been around for nine years. Rdio doesn’t disclose their subscriber numbers.
A 60% sign-up rate for any public offer would generally be considered pretty good, but we’re talking about Apple here. With the company boasting 800 million iTunes subscribers, 6.5 million represents just 0.8% of the customer base. And given the ease with which Apple made it for users to sign up–it was one tap on iOS–some of the more optimistic projections back in the summer had Apple convincing 80 million or more to just up.
So is this a failure? Apple haters will say “yes” and no matter how you spin these numbers, it has to be a big disappointment for the company. If they want to make inroads against the incumbents, they gotta do something about that user interface. I’m a gadget geek and I find it completely off-putting. Radio and Spotify are far, far easier to use, especially on a smartphone.
But this is a long, long road and Apple has infinite funds. The war has just begun.