Ap­ple Mu­sic: Can Ap­ple's New Stream­ing Ser­vice Com­pete?

iPhone Life Magazine - - Front Page - by david aver­bach

Why Ap­ple Mu­sic Al­ready Needs Some­thing New

When Steve Jobs an­nounced the orig­i­nal iPhone in 2007, he de­scribed it as “an iPod, a phone, and an In­ter­net com­mu­ni­ca­tor.” Mu­sic was so im­por­tant to Ap­ple that Jobs chose to de­scribe the com­pany’s flag­ship de­vice as an iPod first and a phone sec­ond. It’s easy to for­get the crit­i­cal role that mu­sic has played in Ap­ple’s his­toric growth. While the iMac may have been Jobs’s first big hit upon re­turn­ing to Ap­ple, it was the iPod and the iTunes Store that led Ap­ple to drop “com­puter” from its name and start down the path to be­com­ing the con­sumer elec­tron­ics gi­ant it is to­day. If it weren’t for those key prod­ucts, Ap­ple never would have re­leased the iPhone or iPad. With Ap­ple Mu­sic, Ap­ple isn’t merely an­nounc­ing a new ser­vice, it is at­tempt­ing to re­place one of the cor­ner­stones of its busi­ness.

Ap­ple Mu­sic is a prod­uct that makes a lot of sense for Ap­ple. Mu­sic stream­ing has al­ready proven suc­cess­ful for ser­vices like Google, Ama­zon, Rdio, and Spo­tify. Spo­tify has been the clear in­dus­try leader, with over 75 mil­lion monthly ac­tive users and 20 mil­lion paid sub­scribers. In typ­i­cal Ap­ple fash­ion, the com­pany has sat back and watched the mu­sic in­dus­try evolve while care­fully plot­ting its next move and per­fect­ing its soft­ware. Un­for­tu­nately, in this case, it may be too lit­tle too late for Ap­ple’s new ser­vice. In my opin­ion, Ap­ple Mu­sic not only fails to dif­fer­en­ti­ate it­self from the com­pe­ti­tion, it ac­tu­ally falls short in sev­eral key ar­eas.

How Ap­ple Mu­sic Falls Short

Lim­ited Playlists

When us­ing a mu­sic-stream­ing ser­vice, it’s easy to feel un­sure of where to start. It turns out that the abil­ity to lis­ten to (al­most) any song in the world is a bit over­whelm­ing. There­fore, a defin­ing fea­ture of any mu­sic-stream­ing soft­ware is

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