In a major growth milestone, Apple Music (AAPL +0.3%) has passed Spotify (SPOT +1.7%) in U.S. subscribers, in what could be a precursor to catching up around the world, The Wall Street Journal reports.
While neither company offers regional breakdowns, Apple's offering has surpassed 28M U.S. subs (paying users only) as of February, to Spotify's 26M, according to the report. That's the result of growing at 2.6%-3% monthly, vs. Spotify's 1.5%-2%.
If including nonpaying listeners to the ad-supported tier, Spotify has more U.S. users.
On a worldwide basis, Spotify still has a large lead, with 207M active users and 96M of those either paying subs or in a trial leading to a subscription, while Apple Music has more than 50M paying subs.
Apple has leveraged its hardware base to draw users to service like Music; it has a base of about 101M active iPhones in the U.S.
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