According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Apple Music's U.S. paid subscriber base is growing by a monthly rate of 5%. Outpacing Spotify's 2% monthly growth, Apple will reportedly surpass the Swedish streaming company's U.S. subscriber base by this summer.
Spotify remains dominant in the global subscriber race, however. Spotify's 70 million worldwide subscribers is nearly twice as many as Apple Music's 36 million total subscribers. WSJ notes that Apple's 36 million paid global subscribers is up from the 30 million it last reported in September.
Sources tell WSJ that if you count users who are still in free or discounted trial periods leading up to paid subscription, Apple Music already has an edge on Spotify in the United States. Considering Apple Music's relatively recent launch on June 30, 2015—four years after Spotify's 2011 U.S. debut—these numbers are impressive. Many credit the fact that Apple Music comes pre-loaded on all Apple devices as a major reason for their ability to close the gap so quickly.
As the streaming race intensifies, Spotify has announced that they're testing a new app called "Stations," which will allow users to choose from curated music stations in a streamlined way similar to Pandora. The app description reads: "When you have access to all the music in the world, finding the right thing to play can feel like a challenge. With Stations, you can listen immediately, and switching stations is simple and seamless—no searching or typing needed."
Spotify also just rolled out a new feature that finally displays songwriter and producer credits on the desktop app.
May the streaming wars continue.