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Essay: Comparing Apple Music and Spotify: Who Rules Music Streaming Services?

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MWF 900-1000 AM


Apple Music Streaming Service

Alpha Team







Main Competitor: Spotify,

Product: Spotify Music Streaming Service

Section I: Introduction

Abstract / Executive Summary

At the start of this report, the objective was to identify, what really is the market position of Apple Music Streaming Service when compared to its current rival Spotify. These efforts give a result that is interpreted through statistical methods in order to avoid any possible bias that could present itself. And as shown, our growth can be said to be unprecedented in an industry that can change in an instant. So instead of fighting the trend, we let it guide us. We let the user become the designer, and let the data become the teacher. In the report above we let the world inform us that “Apple Music Streaming” is not just a music streaming service, it is a Multiplatform access to your fondest memories, to a great work out, or preparation for a final presentation. We also learned that despite only having 29 % chance of being found on a random device and have roughly about 3/10th of the music streaming service. We have consistently grown about 15% (.01580) in only two 1/2 years and have not deviated from that growth user trend by more that 3.4 units for now. In this case that would be millions.

Now at this rate one can make predictions and estimates of what might or could happen. However, like mentioned before. After all the numbers where crunched and broken coffee pots where picked up from the combination of panic and enthusiasm, we learned. That The emotion, the song, and the person that gives it meaning… In other words the “User” is… Music… Because “they” are the ones who created it so that platforms like Spotify, Apple Music Streaming & others can share it with the world, but unlike like Spotify or other options. With Apple Music Streaming Service we hope that you can enjoy a non-bias playlist that is customized to your liking. This comes with the opportunity to take it where you please and play it in almost any device in your home or line of products that already come fully integrated so that all you have left to do is get up, press play… And change the world.

On behalf of the Apple team

Thank you

, AppleTv, Ipads, Macbook laptops & desktops.

Section II: Company Information

Apple Inc. was founded on April 1, 1976, in Cupertino California by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne. It was originally called Apple computer Inc. in 1977, but the name was changed to simply Apple Inc. on January 9, 2007, to show its shift from simply computers to also producing other electronic goods. From the MacBook to the iPad to the iPhone, Apple has had more of its fair share of success with most of its products. Their most popular product being the iPhone with over one billion iPhones sold, as of August 2016.

In June 2015, they decided to expand their market power by introducing Apple Music Streaming Service, a variation of the concept they had started with Beats Music but that expanded to add more content such as a larger music library, better radio and playlist options than before and artist exclusive releases. It arrived on iPhone, iPad and Mac with the new iOS update. That means that every compatible iOS device that has been updated to the latest version of the software has Apple Music installed. Since then, the number of subscribers skyrocketed from 300,000 to the 20 million subscribers that have as of today.  Since it is release to the public is available in over 100 countries.

If you are already part of the Apple family, it will be hard to find  a reason not to try apple music. Already preinstalled and accessible to every apple device, from your Mac, iPad apple watch and iPhone. Fees are accessible and sensibles with exclusive contents and perks. They offer a three-month free trial that it's an appealing to Apple users that has rivals such as Spotify, scared, and for good reason. Some of their features are available for free, but they're very limited and there's no ad-supported version like there is for Spotify. This new revolutionary streaming service provides music recommendations based on a user's taste and is integrated with Siri voice commands. It makes it possible, for you to find all the music that you have ever downloaded in the past, either from the iTunes Store or ripped CDs alongside the Apple Music catalog with more than 40 million songs. You will find playlists for each genre, as well as moods and activities. On the flip side apple music interface is more complex than other competitors.

When it comes to comparing Spotify with Apple Music, it is without a doubt that Spotify took the court before Apple did. In fact, it did so by about nine years earlier. Many times this key move can make the difference between success and failure. One example of this can be seen in when Windows released it's operating system in the 90’s. However this is not detrimental blow to Apple’s intentions because many could argue that they are in the same business, but are not playing the same game. This can be seen in the pricing & enrollment program. Despite Spotify’s early roll out, Apple Music’s fan base has been growing and is still increasing. Which means that the people who choose apple music do so because of Apple’s format and features that the public does want and are not found in Spotify; But it is their differences that set them apart. It is also their unique features that can put one over the other. Just like Apple’s family plan can be more family oriented. It is Spotify’s individual subscriptions allow a more personalized experience and of course, not having to pay for the occasional brief desire to listen at a random song that one might deem interesting at the moment. Many times some songs are listened to very rarely after purchase. Spotify does eliminate this unnecessary spending of funds. Nevertheless, has also been criticized for modifying its algorithms to change artist ratings and be a bit biased.

Section III: Proposed Project

Since the presentation to the world it has been preinstalled on every iPhone that's on iOS 8.4 and higher. This makes Apple Music Streaming Service, readily accessible from the very first minute of purchasing an Apple product and makes setting it up, that much quicker. Unlike Spotify and other competitors, Apple Music Streaming Service is made to work seamlessly with Apple products. The user can use Siri to control the app to do any gesture from playing music to searching songs. One can also playback music from all Apple devices perfectly after one another.

Another of its relevant feature, is its integration: You don't have to download extra software; You use your Apple ID to pay for it and it can tap into your iTunes library, allowing you to listen to any of those songs while you're on the GO. Even if you do not have them already downloaded to your device, you can still listen to them. You are able to use across all your Apple devices and there is also an app available for your android device. Another perk of having it preinstalled is having all previously purchased music on the iTunes music store will be integrated straight into Apple Music. The user will have all their music ready to play along with 40 million songs available on the music streaming service.

Another Perk is that they also offer exclusive album and artist releases; with artist like Beyonce, Kanye, and Taylor Swift and other big artists like Drake, Lil Yatchy, in the RAP spectrum, to all the way to Frank Ocean and Adele. As exclusive member of Apple, they gain marketing and promotion for their up coming albums in exchange for releasing first on Apple Music to satisfy all your listening needs and Making Apple a leader in the Music Industry.

The service is also very customizable, so that you can make it suited specifically to your tastes. You can use the “for you” tab to see an array of different bubbles with different genres, and on another screen you can see lists of different artists. This allows you to be able to choose which genres of music you enjoy and which artists you prefer to listen to. You can choose to either like your selection with a single tap, or love it by double tapping the selection. Like many other similar products, Apple Music uses an algorithm tells the company what you like and don’t like to listen to, and it will customize your particular Apple Music to be your own. an example of this if that you can also now wake up to the sound of your favorite song. You can set any track, as your alarm by opening the Clock app, selecting Alarm at the bottom, adding an alarm using the plus symbol, and then choosing a song within the displayed Sound menu. By doing this, you will be able to pick tracks from your Apple Music library to wake up to. This is very innovative if you don’t want to wake up to an alarm that will wake you up by scaring you. It would be a lot nicer to wake up to nice, comfortable song.

However their best feature continues to be their Price.

Apple’s Family Plan $14.99 up to 6 users / Spotify’s Family Plan $6.00 per additional users

One can clearly see that Apple marketing is more family oriented. Many families are looking for the most “bang for their buck’ rather than the brief satisfaction that comes from impulse decision making. Families tend to budget, plan and organize. The average family does run to about a group of 4 to 6, which does look appealing compared to the $6.00 per additional member. A family of six can cost up to $36.00 That is just enough for an extra large pizza. Furthermore, this pricing is not tied to a specific number. Debating how many family members get to use the product is not of concern. This would seem like an obvious move by Apple as it would create great consumer dissatisfaction. An example of an irrelevant feature is color. You can’t argue color.

Section IV: Statistical Analysis: Practical Concepts

Geometric Mean & Sample Standard Deviation

Apple Music Streaming Service is a new subsidiary from Apple Inc. that was started in Jun 2015 and it has only been around for 2 years. We were able to find statistical data in the amount of subscribers that they have been able to attract and/or detract from their competitors. Figures shows they have been able to pick up subscribers at a very strong pace in during our two years of operation and that more than 50 percent of Apple Music users are outside the US. We have been able to grow our subscribers database from 15 millions of users by the end of 2015, to 20.9 million subscribers by April of 2017. Using this data we were able to calculate the geometric mean to find Average Percent Change Over Time comparing the total subscribers that Apple Music Streaming Service was able to attract by squaring root the results found by dividing the value at the end of the period, 20.9 million in 2017 from the value at the start of periods, the 15 millions and minus it by one to find a rate of growth of  0.1580 in only two and half year. This demonstrate without that they are a formidable new competitor in the market. Spotify watch out.

Pearson’s Coefficient of Skewness

Due to that Apple Streaming Music Services, is a young new subsidiary from Apple Inc. we were able to calculate how spread out the dispersion of each sample is from the mean using the statistical data in the amount of subscriber that they have been able to attract and / or detract from their competitors. When we use the Sample Standard deviation formula, It tells us the spread of discretion of each sample data variance from the sample mean; and we are to Measure the spread or dispersion of each sample data value from the sample mean.

Apple music Subscribers from October, 2015- December, 2016.

Population Standard Deviation

While researching Apple Streaming Music Services subscribers, I decided to find out how bias my data was? When working on the data I am required to find the population standard deviation, the mean, and median. I used the population standard deviation, which is used as a measure of the dispersion or variation in a distribution or set of data, this number was13.32. In this case we use the population standard deviation because this data is about all the world subscribers for apple music streaming. If it were only focusing on one country, I would then use the sample standard deviation instead, which is the same measurement of dispersion with the exception that it is only used for a small portion of data and not all of the data. I can definitely confirm that my data is very accurate and useful.

In relation to my company the Pearson’s Coefficient of Skewness is a very important tool. This data is very useful to not only the company but also to the client. It tells both the company and the client, if the data being released by apple is being altered or not. If it is altered it will tell you by how much and whether it is positively or negatively altered to either favor the company or the client. This can be helpful for the client to know if the company is being honest and to inform them whether they are exaggerating their numbers just to get wider market. It can help the company identify any flaws that may be released on their behalf without approval that may jeopardize them. In this case this data is not altered and is very reliable.

Special Rule of Addiction or General Rule of Addition, Permutation or Combination

Spotify subscribers = 50 mil / Apple Music subscribers = 20 mil

There is a 29% chance of a randomly selected individual having an Apple Music subscription. While 29% might not seem like a substantial amount, it is important to put this statistic into perspective. Apple Music has only been around for roughly 17 months. In that time, we have hit the 20 million subscribers milestone, something that took Spotify seven years to accomplish. We roughly have 3/10th of the music streaming market.  As of today, that number grows daily and more consumers are taking advantage of the many features Apple Music has to offer.

Binomial Probability

There were a total of 20 million paying subscribers for apple music in late 2016, and Spotify 40 million. If we take multiple groups of 4, what is the probability that 2 of the 4 per group will be subscribed to apple music? With a probability of success of .20

 = 0.15360

The Binomial Probability is used to test the probability results in a certain amount of successes. Here we can use the binomial probability formula to figure out the probability of certain users being subscribed to apple music rather than Spotify within a specific probability of success. After following the binomial probability formula we can figure out the probability of a certain amount of people being subscribed to apple music within a certain group, for example every 2 people out of 4 who are subscribed to apple music rather than Spotify. Once this is done we are able to find a binomial probability of 0.15360. This gives us the binomial probability in this case.

Mean of the Uniform Distribution, Standard Deviation of the Uniform Distribution, Area of the Uniform Distribution

The information is representative of Apple’s Streaming Music Service and its presence in the current market. All though it has only recently began  operations (Since October 2015), its market share has significantly increased and grown in a consistent  manner. Furthermore, not only has it made itself well known in the music community. But it has also has shown to keep growing 3.4 million users on average. This information was put together by consolidating the number of users in the few years that the service has been available. Ultimately can conclude that despite its late entry and the streaming service, it certainly has become a leading player and a large contributor to the Music industry.

Uniform Standard Distribution

When it comes down to music, nobody wants to be that person left out of hearing that new song on the radio. Nobody wants to be that person who hears the new album that their friend is listening to and not be able to download said album. So we decided to take the Uniform Distribution of the libraries of Apple music and Spotify, and integrate that data into the problem at hand. To begin, simple information regarding the two, Spotify(along with tidal, google play, and soundcloudGo) has a well-rounded library of about 30 million songs, while Apple has a industry leading 40 million songs in their  library(both use a rough, rounded value). Combined they average out to about 35 million songs using the mean of uniform distribution, with a standard deviation of about 2.89 million songs. Next we wanted to really compare and see how they compare together. With a max value of 40 million, and a low value of 0. We can find that the Function of X by simply dividing the number 1 by 40, which will give you a value of 0.025, better left as 1/40 for graphing purposes. With the graph equaling out to 1, we can find the likelihood of selecting a song placed in another library(Spotify, good-play, etc) by using the formula (1/b-a)(b-a) which is equivalent to (base)X(height). After plugging in the data (f(.0025)(40-30), we(apple music) receive a probably of 25% of selecting a song that doesn’t also belong in any other library.(Spotify, google play, etc.) probably because of the fact that apple has its exclusive artist and is the only in the industry to do so.  

Section V: Statistical Analysis: Field Study

We conducted a Feld Survey Study to find what people think about Apple Streaming Music Service. We ask then the following Ten question:    1.


Apple Music












I don't use a music streaming service



2. Age?

Answer Choices


18 or under?



19 to 24?



25 or more?



3.Are you a College Freshman, College Sophomore, College Graduate or other?

Answer Choices


College Freshman



College Sophomore



College Graduate







Answer Choices









Other (please specify)



5. Would the added ability to block explicit content in Apple streaming music vs not being able to filter them in Spotify while paying still the same price of $9.99/mo., persuade you to purchase Apple Music streaming service?

Based on this data we can conclude that the added ability to block explicit content in Apple streaming music vs not being able to filter them in Spotify new costumers to the company. Out of 110 surveyed individuals 45.45 % agree that they would be more likely to switch to apple music streaming because of it. 29.29 %  of the individuals did not seem to be persuaded to change companies because of this added feature; while a 25.25 % of the surveyed individuals, indicated that they did not care about the explicit content either way. This concludes that there is a 45.45 % chance that most individuals with Spotify might be more likely to be persuaded to switch companies, because of the added ability to block explicit content.








6. In regard to the accessibility and friendlier search engine, matched with the familiarity of apple software provided by apple streaming music, will it make you the user more likely to purchase from Spotify or apple streaming music?

Based on this data we can conclude that the familiarity of apple products can bring new costumers to the company. Out of 110 surveyed individuals fifty one agree that they would be more likely to switch to apple music streaming because they are more comfortable with apple software. A 30 percent of the individuals did not seem to be persuaded to change companies just because of the familiarity of the software; while a 19 percent of the surveyed individuals, the question was not applicable to them. This concludes that there is a twenty percent chance that most individuals with Spotify might be more likely to switch companies, because of the familiarity of the software that apple products have across their markets.


Apple streaming music 50.51% Spotify 30.30%

N/A 19.19%

7. Does the fact that apple music has its own 24 hour DJ run radio station with a wide variety of songs make you want to subscribe to apple music or Spotify?

This is about the result that I expected. I thought that people would prefer the app that not only had a vast amount of music choices, but also had that human touch with the live DJ radio station. I believe people are much more likely to lean toward the service that has actual living humans constantly working with the app, who provide entertainment for all its different users.


Apple streaming music 68.69%

Spotify 19.19%

N/A 12.12%

8. After reviewing the data collected in the survey, I believe that the fact that Apple Music has exclusive artist makes a difference in most peoples eyes. I received about two-thirds of people saying that it would make them more inclined to subscribe to Apple Music. The exact figure was 67.8% of people more inclined, 19.9 % of people said it wouldn’t make them more inclined, and about 13.13% of people saying that it didn’t matter to them. I believe that this is a feature that is genius for everyone including the artist who receive the majority of the funds (roughly 70-75 percent returned to artist) and the subscribers who get to hear the music of their favorite artist at midnight when the album is released.


Agree 67.68%

Disagree 19.19%

N/A 13.13%

9. The latest Update in Spotify will now intermittently add songs to your customized playlist forcing you to subscribe if have not done so already. Now that this feature isn’t available, would you consider a 3 free three month trial?

In todays culture this question can be seen as a sensitive topic. And in a similar manner the survey displays a result in which a breach of trust has been seen by the public. In Other words, the product & the company has decided to overstep its dynamic with the consumer by removing some of its key characteristics from their free and trial version. Updating however is not what the public was concern about. It was the fact that Spotify restructured their contract with in the update and did not inform its fan base, consumer or the media. Whether an icon button works better, is blue, black or makes a sound is (although optimal) ultimately, it is not financial.  For the moment its seems, that Spotify might be risking some its consumers in exchange for profits. Regardless of the reason, Apple just might outshine Spotify soon on strategy alone


Agree 46.94%

Disagree 34.69%

n/a 18.37%

10. Would Apple Music containing roughly 10 million more songs than Spotify be a persuading factor to you in choosing a music streaming service?

When asked if Apple Music’s bigger music library would be a persuading factor to join the service, the answer was clear. Out of 100 surveyed participants, we concluded that 77% agree that a larger music library was an incentive to subscribe to Apple Music while only 17% disagreed and 6% did not have a say in the matter. After all, both services are offered at the same price for all three plans. It is logical to assume that consumers want as much content as they can receive and Apple Music strives to make sure that it is on top of its game when it comes to musical content on our app.


Agree 76.77%

Disagree 17.17%

N/A 6.06%

Section VI: Conclusion

In conclusion, it may not be as popular as its main competitor Spotify, but apple music does more than enough to stand on its own. It has its own live DJ stations, an accessible and friendly search engine, and an inexpensive family plan, allowing the whole family to enjoy their favorite songs on apple music for one low price. It may not be pulling the same number of active users as Spotify, but our survey has shown that many would be willing to take apple music over its competitor for all of its great pluses. So why not let not just you, but your whole family enjoy their favorite songs whenever they desire, download and subscribe to Apple Music today! You surely will not regret it.

Works Cited

Knopper, Steve. "How Apple Music, Tidal Exclusives Are Reshaping Music Industry." Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone, 05 Oct. 2016. Web. 07 Apr. 2017. <http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/inside-the-war-over-album-exclusives-w443385>.

Music Business Worldwide. "Apple Music exclusives: An insider's view – Music Business Worldwide." News, jobs and analysis for the global music industry – Music Business Worldwide. Music Business Worldwide, 23 Aug 2016. Web. 08 Apr. 2017. <http://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/apple-music-exclusives-insiders-view/>.

* All Products Require an Annual Contract.  Prices Do Not Include Sales Tax  (New York Residents Only). The Reduced Price / Month Applies to. "Apple Music Subscribers 2016 | Statistic." Statista. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2017. <https://www.statista.com/statistics/604959/number-of-apple-music-subscribers/>.

Yamshon, Leah. "Apple Music FAQ: The Ins and Outs of Apple's New Streaming Music Service." Macworld. Macworld, 27 Sept. 2015. Web. 08 Apr. 2017. <http://www.macworld.com/article/2934744/software-music/apple-music-faq-the-ins-and-outs-of-apples-new-streaming-music-service.html>.

Staff, Digital Trends. "Spotify vs. Apple Music: Which Service Is the Streaming King?" Digital Trends. N.p., 04 Apr. 2017. Web. 08 Apr. 2017. <http://www.digitaltrends.com/music/apple-music-vs-spotify/>.

* All Products Require an Annual Contract.  Prices Do Not Include Sales Tax  (New York Residents Only). The Reduced Price / Month Applies to. "Apple Music Subscribers 2016 | Statistic." Statista. Statista, n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2017. <https://www.statista.com/statistics/604959/number-of-apple-music-subscribers/>.

Raymundo, Oscar. "13 Stats That Prove Apple Music Can Coexist with Spotify and Pandora." Macworld. Macworld, 18 Aug. 2015. Web. 08 Apr. 2017. <http://www.macworld.com/article/2972787/streaming-services/13-stats-that-prove-apple-music-can-coexist-with-spotify-and-pandora.html>.

Miller, Chance, and Chance Miller @ChanceHMiller Chance Covers Apple for 9to5Mac and Contributes to 9to5Google, Electrek, and 9to5Toys. He Runs the Weekly EduTech Series. Tips, Questions, Typos to Chance@9to5mac.com. "Apple Music vs the Competition: How Today’s Music Streaming Services Compare." 9to5Mac. 9to5Mac, 14 Mar. 2017. Web. 08 Apr. 2017. <https://9to5mac.com/2017/03/13/music-streaming-service-comparison/>.

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