Since Zane Lowe announced earlier this year that he’ll be leaving Radio 1 for Apple, many, including me have been eagerly anticipating what’s in store for the technology giant. And finally, earlier this week at the Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple unveiled the details of its brand new music streaming service ‘Apple Music’.
It’s safe to say that the much coveted iTunes has revolutionised the way we listen to music, but Apple is now charging into an already crowded space of music streaming that includes established players such as Spotify and Pandora. Being rather late to the game many are wondering whether Apple Music will be a hit or miss with the public. I reckon it will be a great success and here’s why.
Despite having an incredible 400 million iTunes accounts worldwide, music download sales are falling fast and streaming is quickly on the rise. Therefore by introducing Apple Music, the brand can build its new service into the hundreds and millions of devices that its loyal customers already love. It will also be available in 100 countries, opposed to 55 for Spotify, and users can sync songs to an offline model. Cleverly, later on in the year Apple will also be making the service available on Android phones and Windows PCs.
Perhaps unsurprisingly there has been a mixed reaction to the launch of Apple Music’s new radio station Beats1. Described as a global radio station Apple has said it will launch the station with three very specialist music programmes - a hip hop DJ from New York, a grime DJ from London and Zane. But Beats1 isn't about radio, it's about music. And despite being a very specialist offering at the moment, I’m sure this will grow in time.
One of the problems with on-demand streaming is that a lot of people don’t know what to search for and listen to. Therefore by creating a flagship, 24/7, human-run Beats1 radio station, listeners will be able to discover artists which they can later stream at their leisure. Win: win surely?
Unlike Spotify, Apple will not be offering an advertising supported version at launch. However its innovative Connect feature will give artists the ability to reach their fans directly through a blog-like interface. And once video is introduced this will offer brands a huge opportunity to partner with artists to co-create personalised content for their fans. A must in today’s saturated market.
Finally, with everyone able to give Apple Music a free go for three months, what’s not to like? What’s more at $9.99 a month, Apple has introduced a highly competitive family plan that costs a mere $14.99 a month for up to six accounts.
In my opinion Apple can do no wrong and I for one will be shortly deleting my Spotify app in favour of Apple Music.