We reported last week on claims that Apple Music was about to overtake Spotify for paid subscribers in the US. Now the Financial Times has weighed in after seeing internal forecasts (it doesn’t say where from, but our reading is that it’s rightsholders rather than Apple or Spotify).

The forecasts suggest that while Spotify remains narrowly ahead now, by the end of 2018, Apple Music will have around 27 million US subscribers to Spotify’s 24 million.

“Apple’s music service has also been growing faster than Spotify in the UK and Canada, countries that were heavy adopters of the iTunes store,” claims the article.

This adds some more context to the figures last week around Drake’s ‘Scorpion’ album, which (see separate story) is thought to have done around three quarters of its first-week streams in the US. That partly explains how Apple Music was able to outgun Spotify in the first day, with 170m and 130m streams of ’Scorpion’ respectively.

As we’ve noted before, there will inevitably always be interest in the race between Apple Music and Spotify, but the bigger picture is that both services are growing. The warning bells will only start to sound for Spotify if Apple’s rise (and Amazon / other services) starts to make its own growth slow.

Plus, while there’s still clearly room for growth in the US, the longer-term battleground is as much (if not more) about Latin America, Africa and Asia, where the global streaming giants will be competing not just against one another, but against local services too.

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