Analyst predicts Apple Music to have 8 million paid subscriptions by year end, also projects 20 million paid subscribers by the end of next year.

A new report by analyst Mark Mulligan of MIDiA Research projects Apple Music will have 8 million paid subscribers by the end of the calendar year 2015. Moreover, his research also predicts that the newly launched music streaming service will have more than double the number of users, close to 20 million paid users by the end of 2016.

Apple biggest rival in music streaming business is Spotify, which announced back in June it had 75 million users in total, out of which 20 million were paid subscribers. Mulligan further states in his report that Spotify’s user base will continue to grow, and it will retain its top spot as leading music streaming service, though with Apple Music closing in.

“Apple might not have found the subscription market quite the plain sailing it had anticipated, but it has still managed to establish itself as the second player with astounding pace. Its platform and marketing assets are well known, but its clear commitment to making Apple Music work have surprised some,” said Milligan in his research.

Apple Music’s userbase has been on the constant rise despite facing a few bottlenecks when it launched. Users were complaining about the app’s layout and design along with some bugs went it launched back in June. Though it still managed to grab a total of 15 million subscribers, out of which 6.5 million are on paid subscriptions.

It is also worth pointing that Apple Music will soon be making it debut on Android, implying these numbers can go much higher posing a serious threat to rivals like Spotify. The iPhone maker officially launched Apple Music at its WWDC event back in June for iOS, when they also announced that an Android version would also debut this fall.

While earlier this year, Apple Music chief Eddie Cue also tweeted that the company will soon be increasing the matching limit of Apple Music from 25,000 to 100,000 by year end. Some users have already reported that they were able to stash more than 25,000 tracks on iTunes Match or Apple Music, implying the feature is still being tested before it starts rolling out for everyone.

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