Apple Music VP Says Number of Spatial Audio Listeners Has Doubled Since Launch

BY Anu Joy

Published 16 Feb 2022

Apple Music

Apple says that Spatial Audio listeners are enjoying the feature so much that the number of users has doubled since September. Plays of Spatial Audio tracks have also quadrupled, and the catalog has increased sevenfold ever since it was made available last year. Spatial Audio and lossless streaming have been available for free to Apple Music subscribers, which could be the key reason behind its widespread adoption.

Exceptional Growth of Spatial Audio Content

Apple Music and Beats Vice President, Oliver Schusser, in an interview with Billboard, said that the company’s Spatial Audio content has grown exceptionally since it was launched last summer.

We now have more than half of our worldwide Apple Music subscriber base listening in Spatial Audio and that number is actually growing really, really fast. We would like the numbers to be higher, but they are definitely exceeding our expectations.

Schusser added that the company is focusing on quality mixing of songs.

We listen to every song that comes in Spatial Audio to us and we try to engage with people who make the cut during the process. There’s a much larger audience for Spatial Audio compared to the early days of the Dolby Atmos Music rollout, when there was more experimentation with the format. There’s a real audience now, so people spend more time on it. There’s more knowledge and we know just from the engagement, the conversations that we’re in, that people within the creative community talk about it a lot more.

Limitations of Bluetooth Remain a Challenge

The Apple Music VP added that although the entire catalog of ‌Apple Music‌ songs now supports the lossless format, the limitations of Bluetooth pose a challenge in bringing the format to AirPods.

Everyone in the industry was really focused on Lossless. We have every song in our catalog available in Lossless to us delivered by the industry, but the challenge is it doesn’t play on any headphone in the world over Bluetooth or any wireless connection, and that is by a country mile the number one way how people consume music these days.

Back in December, Apple Acoustics VP had pointed out that Bluetooth was “stifling sound quality.” However, it appears that the iPhone maker is working on overcoming these limitations as rumors suggest that the AirPods Pro 2 could support lossless audio.

How has your experience with Spatial Audio been? Let us know in the comments.

[Via Billboard]