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Apple Music Tunes In 6.5m Users, But Pipeline Looks Weak

Tim Cook has revealed that Apple Music has managed to convert 6.5m of its free trial users into paying subscribers in its first month. That's a massively impressive retention rate.
The number is close to a third of Spotify's user base, and achieved only with users who had completed their three month free trial.
However it isn't all sweetness and light for Apple. In month one we were told around 11m users were trialing the service. Now there are just 8.5m, a significant reduction. Especially as that 8.5m figure represents all the users who have signed up in months two, three and four since the service launched. 
If the reduction rate in new trial sign-ups is steady, then the service is growing new users 50% less successfully with each month.
11m, 5m, 2.3m, 1.1m. At that rate Apple will be signing up just 500k new trial users next month. Even at a conversion rate of 60% Apple won't get near Spotify's subscriber numbers this year.
So what's behind Apple Music's collapse in popularity? Are Apple fans unimpressed by early reports of the bugs in the software or do Apple fans prefer to buy their music rather than rent it?
Maybe the holiday season will give Apple Music a boost, or maybe Spotify just does it better.
Whatever the case I don't see Apple giving up on music subscriptions any time soon. It's a long game and Apple has plenty of time to play it.


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