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Spotify says subscriber growth now doubles Apple Music

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Streaming music giant Spotify reported positive earnings for the third quarter of 2019 on Monday, with the company stressing increased subscriber growth which supposedly doubles that of Apple Music on a monthly basis.

In a letter to shareholders published in concert with today's earnings reveal, Spotify reports total monthly active users (MAUs) grew to 248 million during quarter three, a 30% year-over-year jump. More importantly, the company's premium tier numbers were up 31% on the year to hit 113 million paying subscribers.

Customer churn rates improved 19 bps year-over-year, the company said.

Citing the surprisingly positive metrics, Spotify claims it is handily trouncing the competition. The company drew specific comparisons to Apple Music, which has over the past few months enjoyed favorable media coverage as it gains on the streaming leader.

"Relative to Apple, the publicly available data shows that we are adding roughly twice as many subscribers per month as they are," Spotify said in investor note. "Additionally, we believe that our monthly engagement is roughly 2x as high and our churn is at half the rate."

Apple typically keeps Apple Music details private, reporting gains, losses and revenue in the catchall "Services" category, but the tech giant does from time to time announce subscriber numbers. Most recently, SVP of Services Eddy Cue in June said the streaming product boasts 60 million paying subscribers, up from 50 million in January.

While the 60 million subscriber metric pales in comparison to Spotify's 113 million premium users, Apple built its existing customer base at a faster clip, hitting the milestone in just four years. By comparison, Spotify Premium launched in 2008.

Despite lagging globally, Apple Music surpassed Spotify in the U.S. in April, according to estimates at the time. North America is Spotify's second-largest market and accounts for 27% of the service's total MAUs.

Today's earnings arrive as Spotify pursues antitrust claims against Apple in Europe. In a complaint lodged with the European Commission in March, the company claims Apple unfairly limits access to App Store data, third-party services and other technologies to gain a competitive advantage over other streaming industry players.