Apple has announced its new music streaming services, Apple Music, which will launch on 30th June. Spotify currently has an 85% share of the music streaming market, so will Apple Music be able to persuade people into change?
The new Apple Music service doesn’t look to have any free features, offering only a paid subscription service for $9.99. The Spotify free tier restricts the quality and listening options of users with support from adverts, while the paid tier also costs $9.99. Apple Music will also have a second paid option, in the region of around $15, which will allow up to six people to pay one monthly payment but each use separate accounts. Spotify also run a similar scheme for people who subscribe in groups, but Apple’s makes a better deal. While Spotify offers a 60 day free trial, Apple Music will offer a trial for the first three months after a users signs up.
Both Apple Music and Spotify have a large amount of music available to their users, with Spotify offering around 30 million songs while Apple Music will offer around 35 million in addition to the majority of content available through iTunes. Apple Music has also promised exclusives from artists which will available on through the streaming service for up to two weeks. The first announcement of this is Drake’s new album named Views From The 6.
Apple Music will also encourage users to listen to new music by suggesting new content that has been curated by humans instead of software and algorithims. Spotify also offers human-created playlists too that offer solutions for a time of day or particular activity. These are shown to users as they open the app, but Spotify doesn’t shout about this as part of an integral part of the service.
Spotify works for PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Playstation, while Apple Music will launch onto PC, Mac and iOS, with Android and Apple TV apps launching before the end of the year and no mention of Windows Phone.
A feature called Connect on Apple Music will allow users to follow the artists they like on a platform which is like social media for music, where the artists upload songs they’re working on or new tracks. In addition, Apple Music will be well integrated with iPhones and will allow Siri to control song choices while the Proactive assistant for iOS 9 will be able to suggest new music for based on routines or behaviour.
Spotify also has smart features, but these are not likely to be as advanced as those offered by Apple Music. Spotify can choose songs that fit your pace as you run, so you can let it automatically take the lead with music while you exercise. The streaming service also offers podcasts and videos as well as a social network.
While Apple does have interesting new features in its music streaming service and the might of the world reknowned company behind it, those who have their Spotify playlists set up exactly how they like them will probably not be tempted to start from scratch from a new service. A big feature missing from Apple Music is the ability to use the service for free, as with the ad-supported tier of Spotify. Spotify has around 60 million active users, but only 15 million paid users and so if those on the free tier haven’t yet decided that they need to pay for music then they may be unlikely to make the switch to a different service that only offers a paid tier such as Apple Music.
Despite hard work from Apple in making the Music service the best that it can be, our vote still lands with Spotify for the fact that it’s established, easy to use and has all the necessary features. One of the newest streaming services, Jay Z’s Tidal, appears to have flopped after lots of investment and a big star studded launch, so it’s not a given that Apple Music will prove to be popular just because it has been created by Apple.