Amazon Music is now growing faster than Spotify and Apple Music


It's a far cry from the days, not that long ago really, when 100 million paid subscribers for the entire industry seemed a daunting, far-off target.

Amazon Unlimited Music is still smaller than its biggest competitors. Throw in Tencent Music (28.4 million paying users for its online-music services at the end of March) and the total grows to more than 221 million from the top four players - with Tencent and Spotify yet to update their figures for the second quarter of 2019. Amazon's current subscriber count to its music services sits at about 32 million. In any case, Amazon still has a lot of catching up to do.

In brief: Spotify and Apple Music are the two largest streaming outfits in the USA but a dark horse competitor - Amazon - is coming on strong.

Ars Technica notes that the service's growth is helped in a big way by how widespread Amazon's smart speakers and Alexa devices have become. Although relatively late to music streaming - Amazon Music debuted only in autumn 2016 - it appears the e-commerce giant is succeeding partly because of its brand recognition. And that's a big pie to take a slice of: more than a quarter of United States adults had bought a smart speaker as of earlier this year. "We're not battling for the same customers as everyone else", said Steve Boom, head of Amazon Music. "People don't pay as much attention to it [as to Apple and Spotify], but it's been hugely effective", he added.

As part of their Back to School promo, Apple is offering students 6 months of free Apple Music, which is double the free trial period for non-students.