What you need to know

  • Spotify revealed it now has 108 million subscribers and 232 million monthly active users.
  • Apple Music recently said it has 60 million subscribers.
  • Podcasts are a big hit on Spotify, the service said.

Despite reaching 60 million paid subscribers in June, Apple Music still trails far behind Spotify, which on Wednesday released its Q2 2019 results.

According to Spotify, the service now has 108 million subscribers, up 31% year-over-year. That's nearly double Apple Music's tally, underlining just how far Apple's service has to go.

One area where Spotify saw the largest growth was in its podcast audience; the service said there was a 50% increase in podcast audience growth quarter-over-quarter. Now we understand why Spotify is betting so big on podcasts, with the company acquiring two podcast companies earlier this year.

Despite Spotify's dominance, Apple Music has shown encouraging growth since launching in 2015, and has a major advantage thanks to the service coming preinstalled on all iOS and Mac devices. A big part of the service's success is also due to the fact that it sticks with human curation for its playlists, rather than relying entirely on algorithms.

"We really do believe that we have a responsibility to our subscribers and our customers to have people recommend what a playlist should look like and who the future superstars are," said Oliver Schusser in a recent interview about Apple Music.

With services becoming an increasingly important part of Apple's bottom line, it may be that human touch that helps Apple Music eventually close the gap on Spotify.