Apple was latecomer to streaming music, but analysts say the fast growth of paid users makes it a competitor to industry leader Spotify. Fred Katayama reports.
Stop the music: Apple says 6.5 million people are now paying for its streaming music service. Speaking at a tech conference organized by the Wall Street Journal, Apple CEO Tim Cook said an additional 8.5 million people are participating in a free trial of Apple Music. Apple launched the service in June with a free three-month trial period. After that period, users pay $9.99 a month for individual subscriptions. FBR analyst Daniel Ives: SOUNDBITE: DANIEL IVES, ANALYST, FBR (ENGLISH) SPEAKING: "We view the 6.5 out of the gate as a home run number. We were expecting 5 million. There's a lot of skeptics out there who thought Apple wouldn't be able to do more than 4. This shows they can definitely become a legitimate competitor to Spotify and definitely looks like good news out of the gates for Cook and company." Apple Music is a Johnny-come-lately in the streaming music world. What sets it apart: Apple's big brand name and its music lists that are curated by humans, not computer algorithms. Analysts predicted Apple Music would have a strong following with its built-in base of iTunes users. It got a lot of users to pay up for it in a short period of time, but it still falls far shy of rival Spotify's 20 million paid subscribers.