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Spotify may face trouble in the future if it doesn’t find new ways to compete against Apple Music, particularly in the U.S. market.

According to confidential subscriber data delivered to Digital Music News this summer, Apple Music now has more paying U.S. subscribers than Spotify. The Swedish-based Spotify maintains its lead overseas, with 75 million paid subscribers versus Apple Music’s 20 million outside the U.S, as reported in April.

Some recent events complicate Spotify’s U.S. standing further. Apple Music has rolled out a variety of new improvements in a recent update that makes music discovery and updates far more intuitive, including clearly dividing singles from albums and creating an ‘essential albums’ section for artists. Apple’s recently approved acquisition of Shazam, cleared by the EU, also will allow access to a host of new exclusive music identification algorithms and copyrights.

Spotify’s expansions into the direct licensing of music in the last year, while controversial, may provide some new benefits for the service, but it is yet to be seen how Spotify plans to increase its market share in the U.S., or how it plans to complete after the Shazam ruling.


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