Just a month into its existence, Apple Music was one of the most-used mobile apps in the United States. According to comScore, the much-discussed streaming service, which launched June 30 as part of an update to Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS, leaped right onto a list of apps that includes some of the largest, most popular ones in the world, including Facebook and Google Search. It also became the second music app to crack the list, according to comScore’s data, more than 40 percent of U.S. mobile users used Pandora in July.
Prior to Apple Music’s official launch, industry observers noted that Apple would enjoy a number of strategic advantages over competitors like Spotify, Rdio and Google Play Music, but the biggest was its enormous user base. As of July, it controlled 44 percent of the U.S. smartphone market, according to comScore data, and each of those users would automatically get the chance to try Apple Music for free for three months.
Despite uneven reviews from the media, it got off to a decent start; six weeks later, the company announced that 11 million people were using it. That number put Apple Music solidly in the middle of a crowded pack of competitors, far behind Spotify's 20 million paying subscribers but ahead of Rhapsody's 3 million and Tidal’s 770,000. It also proved capable of driving large numbers of people to check out a featured release: "Compton: A Soundtrack," released exclusively on Apple Music, is already one of the most-streamed albums of he year.
Whether Apple Music can retain this enormous audience of users remains to be seen. Apple’s vice president of iTunes International, Oliver Schusser, told the Guardian it was working hard to improve a number of the app’s aspects, both for its existing user base and for an Android audience that will get to try Apple Music later this year.