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Apple Music, Apple’s music streaming and download service, now has over 20 million paid Premium subscribers, a company representative told the BBC.  The company had previously reported 6.5 million paid customers in October last year, and 17 million subscribers in September this year.

Apple also said that 60% of its users had not downloaded a song from the iTunes store over the last 12 months, hinting that its subscriber base was new, rather than renewing members.

Exclusives the key?

The company also partially attributed the increase in subscribers to the 70 exclusives it has hosted over the last year, including 6 of which topped on the US billboard charts. Interestingly, Apple’s closest competitor in the audio streaming business Spotify, had mentioned that exclusives are ‘bad for artists, bad for consumers, and bad for the whole industry’, and was subsequently accused of excluding artists and tracks from its playlists and demoting them from the search results, for signing exclusives with rivals.

Apple Music, which debuted on 30 June 2015 worldwide and on 1 July the same year in India, combines music downloads, radio streaming and music streaming in a single app. The platform is second only to Spotify, which claims to have 40 million paying users and a total of 100 million users (including free). Apple on the other hand, does not offer a free tier, and instead offers users a trial period post which it charges $10 per month depending on the plan. The app is currently available in over 100 markets internationally including India, China, Japan, South Africa, Brazil etc.