Apple Music: The Verdict

Launched on June 30th, Apple Music has joined the ranks of other music streaming services including Spotify and Google Music. But how exactly does Apple Music claim to be different from these others? The first wave of the free three-month trial of the service is now coming to an end. What might be motivating users to convert to Apple Music or to stay loyal to other services?

One of the greatest appeals of Apple Music is undoubtedly the prospect of having all your music in one place with relatively little hassle since Apple Music seamlessly integrates with existing iTunes libraries. The Apple Music library consists of around 30 million songs, comparable to that of Spotify. However, unlike Spotify, which allows users to download 3,333 songs to listen to offline, Apple Music currently lets its users download up to 25,000 songs, with the prospect of this number increasing significantly in the future.

As well as providing the convenience of having their music in one place, Apple Music is also attempting to cater to all possible music and music related needs of their users. Indeed, in an article in The Atlantic entitled “The Great Lie of Apple Music”, Spencer Kornhaber explains how Apple have not tried to be innovative with their music service, but rather have tried to consolidate multiple experiences under the umbrella of Apple Music. Kornhaber says that with Apple Music you can have ‘all-you-can listen –to streaming a la Spotify, radio stations a la Pandora or I Heart Radio, and a publishing and outreach platform for artists similar to YouTube, Facebook, Tumblr, or Soundcloud’.

Apple has done a lot to emphasize these services that Kornhaber mentions in order to entice users. Its radio station, Beats 1, is advertised on the website as a place where one can find ‘an eclectic mix of the latest and best in music’. Furthermore, Apple Music aims to set itself apart by claiming to offer a more tailor made and personalized experience than other services. This comes in the form of Connect, where fans are promised an exclusive insight into the world of their favorite artists as well as the Apple Playlists, which according to the website are picked by a ‘team of experts’.

But is this enough? Convenience seems to be a key word when talking about Apple Music and is undoubtedly a strong pull towards the service. Yet, customers are more often than not unwilling to go through the effort of making a switch like this. At $9.99 a month, Apple Music is the same price as Spotify meaning that there is no pressing financial incentive to change services either. To return to Kornhaber’s article, what seems to be missing from Apple Music is anything drastically innovative, beyond convenience that will firmly pull loyal Spotify and Google Music customers away in droves. As Apple Music matures it will be fascinating to see how they continue to set themselves apart from the likes of Spotify to attract new customers.