Millions of early adopters who signed up for Apple Music dropped the service after the free trial period ended, the company revealed late Monday.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said it had 6.5 million paying users after the 90-day trial ran out for the first wave of users at the end of September.
In August, the company said it had signed up 11 million trial users in the first month of its launch, despite widespread criticism of its design.
Cook indicated that he considers the conversion rate — which would be below 60 per cent — a success for the service 3½ months after its debut.
He said another 8.5 million people are still in the three-month trial period, giving it 15 million users overall.
“I’m really happy about it, and I think the runway here is really good,” Cook said late Monday at the WSJD Live conference in Laguna Beach, Calif.
By comparison, 7-year-old Spotify, the music streaming leader, has more than 20 million paid subscribers worldwide and 75 million total users.
The tech giant is hoping Apple Music will continue its iTunes dominance as a growing number of users, in particular younger listeners, opt for streaming services over paid downloads.