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.
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.