Tag Archives: Apple Inc

Apple Music: The Verdict

So the highly anticipated music streaming service from Apple Inc ‘Apple Music’ was launched yesterday (30th June). After a very public display of anger from Taylor Swift, over the lack of artist payment from Apple for the first free months in which they are offering customers a free service, the streaming site needs to gain positive publicity this week. Gaining such publicity could see it become an iconic name and possibly replace Spotify.

The verdict so far consists of opinions portrayed from some of the leading music industry publications. After reading Music Week’s impression on the new streaming service, it instantly put me off and I think the writer (Mark Sutherland) felt the same way too at the start.

Streaming is meant to be easy, instant, accessible and fast. His opening paragraphs portrays the opposite.

He goes on to explain that in order to even start using the streaming service, you have to download a whole new operating system for your computer. Like, really? Who has the time and energy to do that. Who would want to do that, just to be able to listen to the same music that is easily available via Spotify? I’m losing faith already.

However, there are positive aspects. Instantly being able to narrow down your choices to make sure your select music taste is what you hear… that is pretty good. After accepting all the terms and conditions etc etc and signing in to Apple Music you’re able to let it know what music you like after sampling some of their suggestions.

Also, the 24/7 radio service that is provided by the music streaming service is a great addition, especially for already established Zane Lowe fans who can now hear the music enthusiasts voice once again, playing music both mainstream and indie to the ears of Apple music subscribers.

Nonetheless, while Lowe may occasionally spout nonsense, his sheer love of music means it’s impossible to dislike him. And, ultimately, the same goes for Beats 1. At the moment, it’s rather like the early days of 6 Music: a potentially brilliant radio station broadcasting into a void while waiting for people to catch up with the technology. If people do, it could go from interesting experiment to appointment listening.

So I guess, if you can power through the faff of downloading a new operating system prior to downloading Apple Music, then it has its moments of worth. But, if you can’t get through that early stage. Then you’re never going to.

It was obviously clear as well, that the public feud between Apple and Swift was something they were going to use but in a positive way. As soon as you enter the Apple music streaming site, right there, right there in front of you is Swift’s 1989 album, so openly parading the image into the faces of new subscribers who prior to Apple Music’s capture of the content, has never been seen before on a streaming site. It’s almost like an instant stab in the back for other streaming sites that are unable to use the content due to company and artist differences regarding streaming royalties. But it has worked.

(http://www.musicweek.com/news/read/apple-music-the-music-week-verdict/062188)

The Telegraph has also jumped on the music newsworthy band wagon and done what most of us are trying to do in our head; compared the launch of Apple music to the much-loved streaming site, Spotify.

So here is the low down…

Both sites have roughly the same amount of tracks on their streaming service (roughly over 30 million)

Spotify currently has 75 million subscribers, of those just 20 million (I say just, because that is less than half of its total subscribers) are paid subscribers. We will have to wait and see what the figures will be for paying customers to Apple music, after their free three-month trial basis. That will be the moment where the success of Apple music is defined.

The prices are similar both £9.99 for premium service at Spotify and the streaming service at Apple music. However, with a large population of music lovers within the younger age sector… Spotify has got something right in offering a student price for their premium service of just £5.99. Many of my friends have signed up.

With other elements like sound quality, device ability and other technological factors that show that Spotify are steadily sitting in front of Apple music – it’s going to be an interesting few months to see how the future of Apple music pans out.

(http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/11699117/Apple-Music-vs-Spotify-How-do-the-two-streaming-services-compare.html)

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Swift Vs Apple: The Winning Battle.

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Well. She did it. She proved everyone wrong and actually did it. Apple have changed their payment policy for during their free three-month trial to customers for Apple music. Music producers, writers and artists will be paid for their streams during that free three-month period by Apple.

(Read Taylor Swift’s open letter to Apple here: http://taylorswift.com/news/251533)

To be honest, I couldn’t believe it had happened at first. A big organisation like Apple, I know Swift is a big name and has a large following but for them to give in so quickly and change their policy was incredible. Good on her I say. She did speak for a large portion of music industry professionals who are just starting out in the industry and need to make money in order to continue their work, so for them, I am pleased.

However, I still feel there is a slight essence of greed from Miss. Swift.

The letter she wrote, there were aspects of it that, well her or her PR could have altered to make it seem less about her and more about other people. It just seemed a little too forward and demanding for my liking. Either way, it worked but is it really for the right intentions?

First Spotify and now Apple. She never seemed to have an issue with streaming her other albums, yet with her latest 1989 album, there is a bigger issue for her. Is it her or is it her label or is it both?

What ever the reason it has pros and cons within what happened. Whether it was for greed or because she actually genuinely cares about other professionals making money, Apple gave it and that large social media voice she has worked.

What still makes me wonder though, as to whether greed and the want for her own personal gain is behind the letter to Apple is what was brought up by photographer Jason Sheldon.

He created his own open letter to Swift reflecting the restrictions she has put in place upon photographers who take photos of her.

He says:

How are you any different to Apple? If you don’t like being exploited, that’s great.. make a huge statement about it, and you’ll have my support. But how about making sure you’re not guilty of the very same tactic before you have a pop at someone else?

With all due respect to you too Taylor, you can do the right thing and change your photo policy. Photographers don’t ask for your music for free. Please don’t ask us to provide you with your marketing material for free.

Too right. I completely agree with him. It is double standards. If she wishes the music industry to be fair with their paying standards, then it should be fair for all aspects and everyone involved. After all isn’t this what she was stating in her own letter to Apple?

Either way. Publicity stunt = succeeded. Well Done Taylor Swift. You have got us all talking once again.

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U2: Apple’s Invasion of Privacy

I’ve always been one of those ‘followers’ of Apple, not the obsessive type, no offence, but I do like my iTunes and have a range of their products. However, since I heard in the news recently that Apple have been invading iTunes users privacy, I’m slightly dis-heartened and going to be forever wondering what else they will do or possibly have done already in the past without us knowing.

The news that changed my view was the announcement that Apple have been automatically adding U2’s new album: Songs of Innocence to users around the world, iTunes libraries. The album is already free to download but we should be given and most people thought we’d be given the CHOICE as to whether to download it or not. Do Apple not know how privacy laws work? The fact these automatically downloaded it to all libraries, when people should have a choice and personally decide if they wish to use it, is unbelievable. It just makes you wonder what else they might have done without us knowing…

After hearing the news I looked into my personal account and there it was, the full album, and I had not clicked any button saying I agreed for it to be downloaded to my account.

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It’s quite ironic for the album to have the word ‘innocence’ in the title when Apple and U2 have gone the completely opposite way. Not so innocent anymore, i’d say. However, Bono did issue an official apology today saying they ‘had this beautiful idea and we got carried away with ourselves.’

So it just goes to show that you need to take privacy laws seriously as Apple are lucky they haven’t had some sort of law suit on their back after this unplanned mis-hap.

If they’d followed a strategy plan to the dot, and took into account their stakeholders needs they would know they’re the ones bringing in the profit and if they’re not happy with something, the investors won’t be. It’s just down hill from then on pretty much.

Well, good luck to Apple! Think it’s an apology needed from them next to make this all better. The lack of press releases and public apologises from the company shows their reluctancy of owning up to the issue. I’m still waiting Apple…..

In the mean time, if you don’t want to have the album on your library you can delete it, using the one thing Apple have done, by creating a tool to help you get rid of the album… Just click here:  http://itunes.com/soi-remove

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