Apple Music gets to 10 million subscribers in 6 months, when it took 6 years for Spotify.

The last time Spotify announced numbers was in June of 2015. At that time it had 20 million subscribers, up from 10 million a year prior. If Spotify’s growth was faster than ever in the second half of 2015, then it added more than 5 million new users over the last six months of the year.

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So, for now Spotify has a much bigger lead than Apple. But, Apple has an advantage being the default music app that ships with every single iPhone. That will continue to drive subscriber growth, posing a challenge for Spotify.

Another thing working in Spotify’s advantage: Its app is critically acclaimed. Apple’s music app has been dismissed by critics.

Also, Apple Music was immediately available to millions of people via millions of devices when it launched in late June. In fact, Apple had more trial subscribers in August (11 million) than it has right now (10 million). And Apple Music is free to try for three full months, so it doesn’t really feel like you’re paying for a new service right off the bat — Apple will quietly charge Apple Music’s $9.99 monthly fee once the free trial ends unless you opt out.

Apple Music is not a terrible music service, but as an Apple product, it’s subpar and nowhere near where it should be in terms of intuitiveness and functionality. Its “For You” feature needs to be revamped, and its “Connect” feature should be eliminated entirely. Its “New” section should also do a better job at highlighting artists or genres you (might) like.

In general, it all needs work. But having a big subscription base of 10+ million ought to help Apple figure out which features to add, subtract and change over time.

My 2 cents:

Here’s a battle to watch in 2016/2017. Will the popular Spotify make good on its learning curve advantage and outlast Apple Music’s “baked in” and “opt out” approach with the successful Discover, Year in Music, You Found it First features? My 2 cents? Apple needs to fix its bugs on its predictive algorithms and simplify the general display to encourage greater Spotify conversions. The baked-in argument relies on this revamping, but that still leaves the entire Android world buying into Spotify along with millions of user’s reaping the benefits of historical musical data that Spotify so accurately analyzes.

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