Apple recently made headlines with the announcement of the return of Apple Music Live for its second season, featuring a special performance by Ed Sheeran. However, amidst the excitement surrounding the event and Sheeran’s new album promotion, some interesting details about Apple’s music streaming service, which launched back in 2015, were inadvertently revealed.
In the span of eight years, no artist on Apple Music has been able to achieve the impressive milestone of one billion streams for a single song. This starkly contrasts with Apple’s biggest competitor, Spotify, which continues to break records with numerous songs surpassing the billion-stream mark at an astonishing pace.
Apple’s official press release stated that Ed Sheeran is one of the most successful artists in the history of Apple Music, accumulating over 9.5 billion plays globally and 240 million Shazam tags. His 2017 hit single “Shape of You” holds the title of the most streamed song of all time on Apple Music, with over 930 million plays worldwide.
However, despite Sheeran’s remarkable feat, “Shape of You” still falls approximately 70 million streams short of reaching the coveted one billion mark on Apple Music.
To illustrate the disparity in user bases between Spotify and Apple Music, Spotify recently announced a unique feature called Blend, which allows users to create a playlist combining their musical preferences with those of Miley Cyrus. This move was prompted by Cyrus breaking a record on Spotify, as her song “Flowers” became the fastest track to reach one billion streams in the platform’s history. Notably, “Flowers” achieved this milestone within just four months of its release. In contrast, Apple Music’s most popular song, released in 2017, has yet to attain this significant benchmark. It’s quite a glaring difference.
According to a report from MIdIA, Spotify boasted nearly 190 million subscribers during the first half of 2022, while Apple Music had around 85 million users. While we don’t have up-to-date figures to compare, it’s reasonable to assume that both platforms currently have a similar number of users. However, Spotify’s vast user base undoubtedly contributes to its ability to propel songs to the billion-stream mark at a faster pace.
While Apple Music should take pride in its substantial user base, it’s clear that the company needs to focus on promoting more popular songs to stay competitive in the ongoing streaming battle.