Apple Music gains subscribers at a fast clip

Apple was late to the music streaming game, but it's gaining ground faster than rivals.

Apple Music's rapid rise may be putting pressure on its competitors.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple Music may be the new kid on the block, but it appears to have the right stuff.

Apple's new streaming-music service has more than 11 million subscribers, according to Apple executives Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi. The two revealed the milestone, along with several other Apple tidbits, on an episode of John Gruber's podcast "The Talk Show" published Friday. Apple also confirmed the updated subscriber number in an email.

Streaming music has exploded in popularity in recent years, with Apple working hard to catch up. Its $10-a-month service reportedly topped 10 million paying subscribers in the first six months of its existence, a milestone that rival streaming-music service Spotify took nearly six years to reach. In November, Apple extended the service to Google's Android operating system, the software that powers the majority of the world's mobile devices.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in October that more than 6.5 million people had signed up for the service, which launched at the end of June. Apple Music is also available in the UK for £10 a month and in Australia for AU$12.

Apple Music's rapid rise could be putting pressure on competitors. Pandora, the Internet's largest streaming-music service, is reportedly looking to be acquired. The company said Thursday that it counted 81.1 million active users at the end of the fourth quarter, down from 81.5 million a year ago. Spotify, whose premium service costs the same as Apple Music in the US, UK and Australia, counts 20 million paid members and another 75 million who listen for free.

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But the Apple Music subscriber number wasn't the only crumb dropped by Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet software and services, and Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering.

Apple has 782 million iCloud users on more than 1 billion Apple devices, the duo said. Also, more than 200,000 iMessages cycle through the system every second, and there are 750 million transactions per week via iTunes and the App Store.

Apple also has a new Remote App coming in the next few months for the Apple TV, said Cue and Federighi, which will let people use Siri and gestures on their iPhone to control the set-top box.

(Via The Next Web)

Update, 4:50 p.m. PT:Adds Apple confirmation.

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