6.5m users are paying for Apple Music right now, but how many will stick around?

Apple Music
Credit: Apple

On stage at this year’s WSJD Live conference on Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook noted that the company’s streaming music service has garnered 6.5 million paying subscribers, with another 8.5 million still trialing it.

That’s not bad for being just a few months in play. For comparison, its major rival Spotify currently claims 20 million paying users after nine years in operation.

However, Cook’s numbers don’t tell the whole story behind its user growth. Apple Music offered a free three-month trial at launch for all users and it’s possible that many customers who are currently paying for the service simply forgot to turn off their automatic subscription renewal. It’s worth noting that Apple played fair and actually sent out reminder emails so people wouldn’t pay by accident.

In August, the company noted that it had 11 million users on the service just five weeks after it launched. It’s also yet to release an Android app that will likely bring more users on board.

Will listeners stick around? Apple Music has a lot going for it, including the fact that, as Cook noted, it offers a strong human curation aspect in the form of Beats 1 radio — even though one of its DJs Zane Lowe thinks the platform doesn’t need it.

Once Apple Music arrives on Android and begins allowing users to share playlists and tracks across social networks and the Web like Spotify does, it could give its arch enemy a run for its money.

If you’re paying for Apple Music unintentionally, here’s how to turn it off.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Talks Music, iPhone Innovation and More at WSJDLive 2015 [The Wall Street Journal]

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