This week at the Apple WWDC they rolled out their new addition to the music offerings called Apple Music. Their entry into streaming music may be a few years behind the rest but Apple’s approach is to dominate it. After reading the first hands on reviews and checking out the offerings of Apple Music I am not sure they will do it. As it currently sits Apple music is part Spotify, part Pandora and part something else. What that something else is, no one knows.
Like Spotify, Apple Music will have customized, sharable playlists. You can create your own lists, find ones others made and customize your listening. To keep it on par with the others there will be a radio feature that I assume will replace iTunes Radio. Being an Apple convert for several years now Apple Music came off as very underwhelming and didn’t knock my socks off to jump away from Spotify.
Spotify just works, it’s fast, the catalog is diverse enough to keep the music fresh and Spotify releases new features all the time, such as the new Running feature. Apple Music may be able to provide a comparable music service for the same price but when you are comparing apples to apples, I am not going to move.
There is also a dark side to Apple Music and it has nothing to do with the software. The music industry and artists. Apple can and probably will start to offer very large deals to the top names on the charts to keep their music off Spotify’s free service or off it completely. This is the most likely outcome, a battle of catalogs much like we have with movies and Netflix, Amazon, Hulu. Did you ever notice that major movies availability flip-flops between Netflix and Amazon and most are not available on both at the same time? This is the future of streaming music. Business competition while the user’s suffer.
Apple wants to win and from the first glance they don’t appear to have an Apple app worthy of that design and polish we come to expect from them. Apple Music looks more like it was built by teams from multiple failed services and they bolted them all back together and are calling it Apple Music. I am not convinced.
However, streaming music is the future. Since I started with a paid Pandora subscription then moved to Spotify Premium for the playlists alone, I have not paid for music outside those services. If an artist drops off the service I will search and enjoy one of thousands other bands I have never heard of. If anything Spotify has expanded my listening consumption away from the Top 40 (which mostly is crap) to indie artists, musicians, performers. Streaming music expands the reach of offerings beyond the store shelves or iTunes. I just hope Apple doesn’t start something that wrecks it.
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Binary Blogger has spent 20 years in the Information Security space currently providing security solutions and evangelism to clients. From early web application programming, system administration, senior management to enterprise consulting I provide practical security analysis and solutions to help companies and individuals figure out HOW to be secure every day.