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Spotify hits 87 million subscribers, keeping it the world's biggest streaming music service

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© Taylor Martin/CNET

By Joan E. Solsman, CNET

Spotify hit 87 million subscribers at the end of September, the music streaming service said Thursday in its third-quarter report. Spotify's growth was near the high end of the range that it predicted in July. Presumably, that keeps Spotify above its closest competitor, Apple Music, which had 50 million subscribers as of April.

Amid a cultural shift to streaming as the most common way people listen to tunes, Spotify and Apple Music have emerged as the leaders in a race to dominate subscription music. Though Spotify remains the biggest streaming service by both subscribers and those who listen for free, Apple Music reportedly has been outstripping Spotify's growth in the US, the world's biggest market for recorded music.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. It hasn't provided an update on its number of subscribers since May, when it widened its count beyond people actually paying for its service to include those who have free trials too. As of April, Apple Music had 40 million subscribers, with 8 million free trials, and the combined total crested over 50 million in May.

Spotify also said Thursday that 191 million people now use its service at least once a month, 28 percent higher than a year earlier. That also fell within its guidance from July. Unlike Apple, Spotify has a free tier that lets anyone listen to music with advertising. Apple has never disclosed a monthly-active-user stat; almost all people who use Apple Music are paid subscribers.

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Technology - U.S. Daily News: Spotify hits 87 million subscribers, keeping it the world's biggest streaming music service
Spotify hits 87 million subscribers, keeping it the world's biggest streaming music service
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Technology - U.S. Daily News
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