Skip to main content

Apple Music Will Shake Up Streaming Services

As expected Apple arrived in the streaming music arena earlier yesterday, with the announcement of Apple Music, a Spotify rival that will change the face of the streaming industry.

It doesn't even need to be any good to do so. Yes, it needs to meet the basic requirements of a streaming service, which it does, but beyond that the unswerving loyalty of Apple's customers offers a real threat to other services.

Right now there are an awful lot of streaming services out there and most are probably pretty worried. For once Sony seems to have got ahead of the game by killing its own streaming service and handing the reins over to Spotify. The latter is by far the biggest service out there in terms of global paying subscribers, however that is unlikely to insulate it from the shock. Apple customers are, more often than not, those who will pay for services like Spotify. It is odds on they will be the first to switch to the new service too, unless it turns out to be an Apple Maps style train wreck, which it won't.

Whether Spotify still has a viable business once a large majority of its paying customers have gone remains to be seen. Will advertising alone be enough to keep the business alive when it continues to burn through cash with a subscriber income stream?

For smaller specialist services like Tidal, Deezer and the like there doesn't seem to be a great deal of hope. I'd wager most of their paying customers are Apple customers too. When Apple's service is going to be much more tightly integrated with iOS, why stay outside the walled garden? Even Jay Z and his support crew won't prove enough to avoid being flattened by Apple's rollercoaster.

Google's Play Music and YouTube Music services stand a better chance, being Android native and pre-installed doesn't hurt. Android users have some antipathy towards Apple, which should keep them off the new service.

Microsoft has a native solution for Windows 8/10 devices which is also pre-installed. As it also supports Xbox and all other platforms you'd think it was ready made for success. That doesn't seem to be the case though, even if Microsoft hasn't broken out the numbers for the service.

I anticipate Apple Music being the largest music streaming service (by paid subscribers) by the time we get to WWDC next year - if not before. How many of the other services remaining standing at that time remains to be seen.


Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

F1: Robert Kubica's Williams Test Asks More Questions Than It Answers

Comparing driver's times at a tyre evaluation test like last week's Abu Dhabi event is difficult at the best of times, but when trying to assess the performance of a driver who has been out of the sport for six years, that difficulty level is raised even higher.
On the face of it Robert Kubica's test for Williams was a success. Fastest of the three Williams drivers present the headlines look promising. However, taking into consideration the different tyres used to set those times muddies the water considerably.
Kubica ran a three lap qualifying simulation on the new 'hyper-soft' tyre - which should have given him a two-second advantage. Correcting for tyres it would appear that Kubica was significantly slower than Sergei Sorotkin - who was on the harder 'soft' tyre - and marginally quicker than Lance Stroll, the team's only contracted driver.

Stroll's family fortune currently funds Williams, so there' no chance that he will be anywhere but in a…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…