Apple Music passes 50 million paid subscribers before the end of 2018, Apple CEO Tim Cook told investors during a Tuesday earnings call. That's up 10 million in the last year. If you've heard the 50 million figure before, it previously included 90 date free trials and other free users.
The 50 million stat and the ongoing revenue that it generates was a bright spot in a generally gloomy earnings call for Cook.
"And I'm very proud to say that nearly 16 years after launching the iTunes Store," said the CEO, "we generated our highest quarterly music revenue ever thanks to the great popularity of Apple Music now with over 50 million paid subscribers."
That means that music subscriptions generated more revenue for Apple than music downloads on iTunes ever did. It's unclear if Cook's "highest quarterly music revenue" on iTunes is just from Apple Music or includes revenue from other music apps, as well.
Still Apple Music has a way to go to catch Spotify, which as of November 2018 had 87 million paying subscribers worldwide. That number is certainly approaching 90 million now, in addition to 100 million ad supported users. We expect to learn updated numbers when Spotify reports earnings on February 6th.