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The achievement, which comes only three months after Apple Music hit 17 million subscribers, was confirmed to Music Business Worldwide on Tuesday.
As noted in the same report, Apple Music's biggest rival, Spotify, announced a paying subscriber base of 40 million users as of September, a number set to grow beyond 50 million users early next year.
For Apple, the 20 million subscriber mark punctuates a year and a half of sizable gains. Starting with a strong initial install base of iOS and Mac device owners in June 2015, the number of paying Apple Music subscribers reached 6.5 million in just four months. By February, Apple's streaming music service topped 11 million and was attracting about one million new users per month.
Apple Music subscriber figures hit 13 million in April, 15 million in June and 17 million as of the company's last official update in September.
Streaming music services like Apple Music, Spotify and Pandora are leading the charge as consumers increasingly pivot away from digital downloads. In 2016 alone, Spotify added some 12 million paying subscribers, while Apple Music attracted 10 million users. Both numbers are in addition to free services like Pandora, YouTube, Beats 1 Radio and Spotify's own free-to-stream tier.
Are you one of those subscribers?
I like to use Apple Music as well. I think it contains all the songs I like. It is not a surprise for me that Apple Music behaves well. But I think that it still has some shortcomings. For example, the supportive devices are limited. I cannot play Apple Music on my smartwatch when I am running. So I have to use TunesKit Audio Capture to download and convert Apple Music to MP3.