Apple CEO Reveals User Totals for Music Streaming Service, Talks Cars and TV

Tim Cook
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images 

Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc., gestures before speaking during the Apple World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, California on June 8, 2015.

Apple has revealed it has 15 million users on its streaming music service, with 8.5 million on free trials and 6.5 million paying for it. Speaking at The Wall Street Journal's global technology conference WSJDLive, CEO Tim Cook said he was "really happy" about Apple Music's performance so far.

By comparison, Spotify boasts 20 million premium subscribers and 75 million total users. Apple’s user totals already beat France-based Deezer, which recently filed for an IPO and has 3.8 million revenue-generating subscribers and 3 million standalone subscribers and revenue-generating active bundled subscribers.

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Apple launched Apple Music on June 30 and offered every user a three-month trial period. After the trial period, users pay $9.99 a month for individual subscriptions or $14.99 for families. The first batch of customers came off the free trial period at the end of September.

Cook said consumers are responding positively to the human curation aspect of Apple Music ("We have music experts, just like the DJ when we were growing up").

"I'm finding personally that I'm discovering a whole lot of music that I wasn't listening to before," he said. "I think it's fabulous. And to have over 15 million on there, and 6.5 million in the paid category, I'm really happy about it, and I think the runway here is really good."?

Cook also revealed that the company will begin taking orders for its revamped Apple TV product beginning Oct. 26. "This is the foundation of the future of TV," Cook said of the new streaming box, which will include a touch-enabled remote and the ability to search for content (using Siri if you choose) across all providers. "You have 700 channels, but you can't find anything you want to watch," Cook said.

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The discussion then veered to Apple’s rumored electric/autonomous car project. While dancing around the topic, Cook did offer that the auto industry "is at an inflection point for massive change" and said he believed software will play a larger role in vehicles in the future.

"When I look at the automobile, what I see is that software becomes an increasingly important part of the car of the future," he said. "You see that autonomous driving becomes much more important."

Cook said Apple wants drivers to “have an iPhone experience in their car."