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What Is Propelling Apple’s Music Business?

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Apple bests Spotify in America

Apple (AAPL) recently overtook Spotify (SPOT) as the top streaming music provider in terms of premium subscribers in the United States, the world’s largest music market. According to a Reuters report citing people familiar with the streaming music situation in the United States, Apple Music had 28 million paying subscribers in the country as of February this year. Spotify had 26 million subscribers in the country as of February. Spotify had long been leading with premium music subscribers in the United States before Apple took the crown.

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Apple’s rise preceded by deals

Apple’s rise to the top of America’s streaming music market comes after the company struck a deal with Verizon (VZ) where an Apple Music subscription is included with some of the operator’s service plans. Initially, Verizon offered its wireless customers the unlimited free Apple Music plan for six months. In January, Apple and Verizon expanded their partnership to make Apple Music one of the perks for customers who purchase Verizon’s top-tier unlimited wireless plans.

Apple’s rise in America’s streaming music market also comes after the company last year struck a deal to bring its music service to Amazon’s (AMZN) Echo devices. Echo is a line of smart speakers. It is the most popular smart speaker in the United States, according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimates.

50 million paying subscribers globally

Besides Spotify, other Apple music competitors in the United States include Pandora and Google (GOOGL). Pandora sold itself to Sirius XM (SIRI) for $3.5 billion in a transaction that closed in February. Google runs a music streaming service called YouTube Music.

In January, Apple disclosed having over 50 million paying music subscribers worldwide at the end of December. Spotify boasts a much larger global paying customer base of 96 million subscribers.

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