Months upon months of speculation about Apple Music and what it may be finally ended when the company officially announced their long-in-the-works subscription streaming music service at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco. Titled “Apple Music,” the service is both an update to the iTunes Store as well as a response to Spotify’s industry-leading streaming service and Jay Z’s ill conceived Tidal service.
Apple CEO Tim Cook led the way and spoke regarding Apple Music and its plan to include a “revolutionary music service curated by the leading music experts we helped handpick,” a 24/7 worldwide radio station and “Connect,” an “ecosystem” that allows for artists to communicate directly with fans. So right away they are one upping Spotify and totally leaving Tidal in the dust.
History has had a very rich history of change, some of which we have a part in, Apple CEO Tim Cook said before introducing a video touching on the history of music distribution from 1888 to Apple Music, the next chapter in music.
Apple Music Details
As stated above, Apple music is going to be the release of many things including:
- A New Update to iTunes Music Service
- A 24/7 Streaming Worldwide Radio Station
- The Connect Ecosystem
Apple’s 24/7 worldwide radio station, Apple Music Beats 1, compiled by former BBC tastemaker Zane Lowe, Hot 97 DJ Ebro Darden and London DJ Julie Adenuga. “We have real music fans running this place, incredible DJs,” Lowe said in a video introducing the service.
Drake appeared onstage to discuss “Connect,” though we are not sure why Drake was onstage. The Connect ecosystem will allow a medium that lets artists share videos, lyrics and more via the Apple Music app. All in all the entire presentation was very impressive, as are most Apple presentations.
Will Apple Music Be Successful?
It’s hard to bet against Apple these days, but even the most valuable company in the world has made a couple of mistakes. However, Apple Music will probably be very successful considering it is an integration into iTunes, the worlds largest music media center. Spotify was late to the streaming game but they have been wildly successful because of their ad based model, their low subscription prices, its 15 million paid subscribers, and their current $8.4 billion valuation. Apple will have to hit the ground hard for the subscription service to be popular and it seems that they are. Plus, Jay Z’s ill conceived Tidal Music Service showed Apple every step NOT to take when launching a music subscription service.
There was a small hiccup a couple of weeks ago when Taylor Swift released an open letter to Apple regarding not paying artists during their initial three month free test offering, but that was quickly cleared up as Apple will indeed pay all artists during the trial. This got Taylor Swift back on board, which may not seem important enough to deal with if you are the biggest tech giant in the world, but Apple quickly realized the pull that Swift has in the music industry and got back in her good graces within 24 hours.
Besides that misstep Apple looks poised and ready to take iTunes and their entire music service to the next level by integrating a number of interesting options for people to play with.
Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal Subscription Comparisons
When viewing the subscription price points of all three models you can easily see why Spotify is so big, why Tidal is about to go under, and why Apple Music has a real chance of becoming a legit competitor to Spotify.
The price of Tidal Music Service subscriptions purchased from inside the iOS app have gone up. The price of hifi moves from $19.99 a month to $25.99 a month. The non-hifi subscription moves from $9.99 a month to $12.99. Plus, Apple will charge you 30% more if you subscribe to Tidal. Probably because 1, they can, and 2, they are launching Apple Music and want to squeeze Tidal out. This shouldn’t be too difficult for them to do, as Tidal has been clumsy from the get go in just about every aspect.
Spotify offers a free service that is ad based, a $4.99 per month Spotify Unlimited subscription, and a $9.99 per month Spotify premium subscription. As you can see, the highest subscription point for Spotify is only the lowest starting subscription point for Tidal. Spotify will more than likely remain huge even if Apple Music is successful, mainly because of their subscription model and their reach.
You will be able to get your first three months free. After that Apple has put in place a subscription model that looks like this.
Individual plans are $9.99 a month. And family plans are just $14.99 a month. You can read more about how the family plans work on the Apple Music website. Even without a membership, you can listen to Beats 1 radio, see what artists are posting on Connect, and hear ad‑supported stations.
Apple has been on the move in the music world over the last year or so… Even more so than usual. They purchased Beats by Dre, and have lined up Apple Music to integrate with iTunes. It is hard to bet against it being successful and at the very least we already know that the user experience and interface will be the very best.
Will you be trying Apple Music when it comes out?