Apple launched its long-rumored streaming music service on Tuesday, and unsurprisingly, people were tweeting madly about it. There were both positive and negative comments about Apple Music, but overall, there was more positive sentiment than negative, according to the folks at TheySay.
Still strong negative sentiment
They collected and analyzed comments made on Twitter to determine what consumer sentiment on Apple Music looked like on launch day. The University of Oxford-affiliated group analyzed 84,845 mentions of the keyword “Apple Music” on Twitter. As Tuesday wore on, the number of mentions the service garnered increased (All graphs in this article are courtesy TheySay.):
TheySay found 76% positive sentiment and 24% negative sentiment.
While this is certainly overwhelmingly positive, TheySay’s analysts stated that there was a lot more negative sentiment on Apple Music than there has been in the past on Apple’s other products.
“Compared to the sky-high positive sentiment ratings that Apple products and announcements typically reach on Twitter, this time Apple Music invoked a healthy dose of strong negative sentiment amongst tweeters,” said TheySay CTO and co-founder Dr. Karo Moilanen, who is also a professor at the University of Oxford.
Apple Music speculations
The analysts also discovered another interesting divergence from social media sentiment on past Apple products. According to Dr. Moilanen, people seemed to have more questions about Apple Music after it was launched rather than before.
“Incidentally, speculation levels increased in the Twittersphere after the official announcement,” he said in his report on the data. “Typically, speculation levels build up to an official announcement, after which they dissipate quickly. Clearly, many tweeters are still guessing [at] what Apple Music is, how it might work, and how it good it might turn out to be.”
What consumers like about Apple Music
When breaking down the positive sentiment, TheySay found four main areas in which consumers expressed the most positive sentiment on Apple Music in their tweets. Consumers particularly like the playlists and “clever” recommendations, according to the group.
They also like Apple’s curated ad-free radio station, Beats 1, which launched with Apple Music on Tuesday, and the ease of which Apple Music works with the company’s other services. And fourth, consumers were glad to see Apple expanding into new areas and “conquering them,” according to TheySay.
At this point though, it remains to be seen whether Apple really will conquer the streaming music segment.
What consumers don’t like about Apple Music
Although the percentage of negative comments was lower than that of positive comments, there were more drivers of negative sentiment than there were of positive. For one, consumers complained about the renewing payment feature, which some referred to as an “auto-bill-after-free-trial scam.”
Many also don’t think Apple Music is different enough from Spotify, and as a result, some referred to the service as “just a wannabe Spotify assassin.” There was also an issue with the UX, which caused the service to be buggy on many different devices. One example of a tweet showcasing this problem came from Twitter user The Leviathan:
See these text place holders. Seems apple music was released unfinished. pic.twitter.com/oyyXPzIXW1
— The Leviathan (@brian_chano) June 30, 2015
It also appears Apple has a continuing love affair with the band U2. You may remember that Apple users were pretty ticked off when the company forced the band’s newest album on them by having their devices automatically download it for free last fall. With Apple Music, once again there was more preloaded music from U2.
Further, many found that Apple signed them up to auto-follow artists they didn’t like. And finally, many complained that the shared playlists were very limited. For example, sharing playlists among family members was limited.
Apple Music sparks anger
Of all the emotions Apple Music caused on Tuesday, it may be surprising that anger was one of them. In particular, people were really angry about the auto-following feature.
There was also a spike in agitation about the service:
Apple Music versus competing services
So now that Apple Music is on the scene, do competing streaming music services have to worry? Recently one firm suggested that Pandora Media might be affected. However, TheySay’s analysis suggests that Spotify might come through the launch in one piece. They did not see a big divergence between positive versus negative sentiment for the two services when comparing them.
“The sentiment profiles for Spotify suggest that, contrary to what many tweeters predicted, the providential arrival of Apple Music does not necessarily sound the death knell for Spotify,” said Dr. Moilanen in his report. “The ratio of extremely positive vs. negative sentiment was 9% negative, 29% positive for Apple Music, while Spotify’s ratio was 12% negative, 32% positive.”