WWDC: Apple Music Needs More Than Just Window Dressing

WWDC: Apple Music Needs More Than Just Window Dressing
ElisaRiva / Pixabay

Apple finally got into the music subscription business last year and is expected to reveal an overhaul of its music service at its WWDC event. The tech giant’s main aim would be to make it more intuitive to use.

How could Apple distinguish the service?

Apple Music needs help, so the overhaul is a much-needed one. The tech giant’s first effort was surprisingly confusing, considering that the smartphone maker is quite famous for waiting for others to take a stab at something and then coming up with a better version. There is no reason to think that Apple Music’s trajectory will get any better though, even if the service gets much, much better, says Re/code.

Even if the Silicon Valley giant offers a service that is as good as Spotify, it is still going to be selling the same thing – all the music a user can stream for $10 a month. Changing the offer and putting forward a different value proposition would be one way to set a music service apart from others. With its freemium structure, Spotify does this to a degree, but it is under pressure to modify that, the report says.

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The tech giant wanted to gain attention and stand out by reducing the price of a monthly subscription. In the hope of getting to $8 a month, the Silicon Valley giant pushed for $5 a month at one point but could not get music labels on board at either price, the report said.

More needed than just window dressing

Not only the iPhone maker but every other subscription service, like Spotify, is trying to distinguish itself from the others with tweaks such as short-term exclusives and robot-generated playlists.

Tidal has a deal with Beyonce and Apple has a Drake deal, while Spotify does not really have any, but it will try to get some soon probably. However, this is just window dressing. The main difference between Apple’s music service and Spotify at this point is that the former has 13 million paying subscribers, while Spotify has 30 million.

In public, the tech giant will argue that 13 million is not too shabby for a service which did not exist a year ago. But privately, Apple executives are disappointed, according to the music label executives who talk to them. Nevertheless, it is quite good that the smartphone making giant is taking another chance at something that it did not do right the first time.

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