Apple Music Crosses 20 million Paying Subscribers

Apple today announced that Apple Music has surpassed 20 million subscribers, reports Billboard.

"It's been quite a year," Apple Music boss Eddy Cue said. "We were thrilled to see that we could take [artists'] passions and drive them all the way to No. 1. Chance the Rapper, who we put on Apple Music exclusively, hit the top 10 on the Billboard charts [based on streams alone], and I can't recall that being done before."

"I don't think exclusives or promotions are anything new," Cue said.

"They were done in the record business, they were done on iTunes, now they're being done on streaming."

He continued: "The exclusives are relatively short term - it's not something that stays on any one platform. But being able to do unique things with artists is a good thing and I think that'll continue."

Apple also said that 60 percent of customers using its music streaming service haven't purchased music from iTunes in the last 12 months, and Cue clarifies to Billboard that the "vast majority are new customers".

Now available in more than 100 countries, over 50 percent of Apple Music subscribers live outside of the U.S. — in such markets as Canada, China, South Africa, Japan, Russia, Brazil and India — states the company.

“Of course we want more and we want it to go faster — we’re hungry!" Cue adds. "We can’t forget that, as an industry, we still have very few music subscribers. There are billions of people listening to music and we haven’t even hit 100 million subscribers. There's a lot of growth opportunity."

-Devashree Goenka