Cementing itself as a clear industry leader, Sweden’s Spotify accounts for 86 per cent of the entire on-demand streaming market.
Going head-to-head with Spotify, Apple will offer its on-demand streaming service at the matching price of US$9.99 per month.
The Times reported the biggest advantage Apple Music will have is that it will be automatically installed when iPhone users upgrade to iOS 8.4 later this month, while iPhones sold with that software on board will have the app pre-installed.
Spotify has responded to the threat by announcing today public numbers have increased and it now has 75 million active users, with 20 million of them paying for its premium subscription.
Previously being scrutinised for its free tier model from artists unhappy with royalty payouts, Spotify has said: “And, more people listening on Spotify means more payouts to the creators of the music you love.”
“As we grow, the amount of royalties we pay out to artists, songwriters and rights holders continues to climb faster than ever. We have now paid more than $3 billion USD in royalties, including more than $300 million in the first three months of 2015 alone,” claimed a post on Spotify’s blog.
This announcement came a day after The Wall Street Journal reported Spotify closed a $526 million round of funding valuing it at $8.53 billion. The funds will be invested in expansion and new forms of content for Spotify to battle it out against its challenger, Apple Music.
Not only is Apple Music set to be a streaming music service via on-demand iTunes, but it will include a live radio station that broadcasts 24 hours a day, and a social network to interact with artists. It’s launching in 100 countries at the end of the month.