Apple Music came charging out the gate about six months ago, racking up 11 million subscribers during their free trial period, but that of course was during the free trial period.
The real indication of the new streaming service's future would be the amount of paying customers that stuck around, and while Apple took an initial hit after it became paid-subscriber only, those numbers have since rebounded, currently giving it an impressive 10 million subscribers according to Fortune.
By comparison, while Spotify is still the dominant streaming player in the industry with 20 million paid subscribers and over 100 million free subscribers, it took Spotify six years to reach the 10 million mark Apple hit in six months, and Spotify will likely be hamstrung in the near future by two massive royalty lawsuits, the latest for $200 million. All that means that if Apple can continue its current growth rate, it's entirely possible that Apple could surpass Spotify and become the largest streaming service in terms of paid subscribers. And in the more immediate future, Apple Music should get a nice bump when Drake drops Views From the 6, which I have to imagine will be done exclusively through the service for an initial period.
That's a big if though. The streaming wars aren't a battle, they're a war, and wars can be long, protracted and unpredictable affairs, especially in the constantly shifting music industry.
Just a few short years ago Apple's iPod player was massively popular, today you'd be hard pressed to give them away. The only thing we do know for sure is that Apple and Spotify's head-to-head race for dominance over the streaming space is only getting started, and if Tidal wants to be included in this conversation, Jay Z better start making some big moves.