Majority of Apple Music users expected to pay for service after free trial
MusicWatch report shows high levels of interest, but claims userbase still relatively small
Nearly two-thirds of Apple Music users are either extremely or very likely to pay to subscribe to the service after their free trials end, according to a new report from MusicWatch, which provides research for the music industry.
However, according to the research - based on surveys from 5,000 US consumers aged 13 and older - while 77% of iOS users are aware of Apple Music, only 11% reported that they actually use it. What's more, MusicWatch noted that while the majority of users are expecting to pay for the service when the free trial ends, 61% had already turned off the auto-renewal option in their iTunes settings.
Apple said that it did not endorse MusicWatch's numbers. The company told the Guardian that, of the people who have signed up for the trial, 79% are using the service.
MusicWatch's reported usage level is similar among consumers who purchase music from iTunes or use iTunes to manage their music collections, MusicWatch said. Though among users of iTunes Radio, Apple's earlier music streaming service, listening to Apple Music reached 18%.
Among people who had tried Apple Music, 48% reported they are not currently using the service. More than one quarter (28%) of Spotify Premium customers also use Apple Music, but the draw from popular ad-supported services is more modest: Just 11% of Spotify Free users, and 6% of Pandora users, now use Apple's offering, MusicWatch said.
"In terms of benchmarking Apple Music, 40% of iOS users are buying digital downloads from iTunes, suggesting trial of Apple Music could be higher," said Russ Crupnick, managing partner of MusicWatch.
"That's the disadvantage of not being the first mover in a market where very good services currently exist."
The most popular feature on Apple Music was its "My Music" functionality, which allows listeners to manage music and create playlists. Beats 1 is being used by 30 percent of Apple Music streamers, while 27 percent are using Connect, MusicWatch said.
Those usage levels may be much higher in the Middle East, however, given that competing services have no presence in this region. What's more, with no access to Beats 1 radio, Middle East use patterns within the app will differ, too.