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Apple Music attracts 20 million subscribers in 18 months

Apple Music say short-term album exclusives have been key to attracting new subscribers – with 3 million sign-ups in last 3 months

Apple Music has attracted 20 million subscribers in the 18 months since it launched.

The tech firm's streaming service also reported that they'd received three million sign-ups over the past three months, which they say are due to their exclusive deals with artists such as Drake and Chance The Rapper.

The company have launched 70 exclusives so far, six of which have topped the US Billboard charts. Apple Music boss Eddie Cue says they'll continue their strategy in order to grow their customer base.

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He tells BBC: "I don't think exclusives or promotions are anything new. They were done in the record business, they were done on iTunes, now they're being done on streaming."

He adds: "The exclusives are relatively short term - it's not something that stays on any one platform. But being able to do unique things with artists is a good thing and I think that'll continue."

Apple Music is now the second-biggest streaming service on the market behind Spotify, which has 40 million subscribers. Such companies have helped rejuvenate the music industry, which recently saw its first big gain in revenue for 20 years.

Returns from streaming grew by 49% last year, with services such as Apple Music, Spotify and Deezer leading the way, while overall music sales and money raised through live shows fell.

Cue welcomes competition from other streaming firms, telling Billboard: "If they drive more people to pay and buy music then that's a good thing for all of us."

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