Apple Sings about Its 6.5 Million Paid Music Subscribers

Tech giant Apple says it has big news. Its streaming music service has attracted over 6.5 million paid users since it rolled out in June. However, the company lost 11 million users after the first free trial period ended.

Apple Music is an app that offers live streaming music 24 hours a day. Apple claims it has the largest and most diverse music catalogue in the world. That may be disputed but what Apple can boast is music experts who have programmed playlists.

The company launched the service with a three-month free membership. The cost to subscribe to the service is $9.99 a month, which is competitive with streaming services like Pandora and Spotify. The family plan lets six people subscribe for $14.99.

"I'm really happy about it, and I think the runway here is really good," Apple CEO Tim Cook said yesterday at WSJDLive, The Wall Street JournalEUs global technology conference.

Can Apple Pull Away?

Beyond the 6.5 million paid subscribers, Cook revealed that another 8.5 million are in the free trial period. All told, thatEUs a reach of 15 million users. The deal ended for the first wave of free trial users at the end of September.

"I'm finding personally that I'm discovering a whole lot of music that I wasn't listening to before," Cook said. "I think it's fabulous . . . We have music experts, just like the DJ when we were growing up . . . that are deciding what's next. It brings the art back in music."

For all the celebrating, though, the bottom line numbers reveal that Apple lost about 40 percent of its subscribers after the first free trial period. In other words, 11 million people liked Apple Music enough to use it for free but most of them did not like it enough to pay for it...

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