Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses Music Apple

Apple Music Was Always Going To Win (gizmodo.com) 161

Apple Music is about to overtake Spotify as the most popular streaming music service in the United States, the Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend. Gizmodo: [...] Here's where the inevitability comes into play. Because all Apple devices come preloaded with Apple Music, countless consumers start using Apple Music without knowing any better. It's effectively become the streaming music analogue of Microsoft pushing people to surf the web with Internet Explorer. The big difference is that people eventually have to pay for Apple Music, which is the same price as Spotify. As many suspected when it launched three years ago, Apple Music was bound to succeed simply because Apple is big enough and rich enough to will it so. Think about it this way: Spotify gained traction quickly after its 2011 launch, largely because music enthusiasts had seen its streaming model succeed globally and wanted to try this neat new thing. After all, there wasn't anything quite like it at the time, and Americans love to feel innovative.

But eventually, Spotify would cease to feel special and new. As the years passed, practically every major tech company launched its own music streaming service. And then, in 2015, Apple unveiled Apple Music in 2015 -- which was really just a rebranded version of Beats Music. Because Apple could preload the service on iPhones, Watches, and Macs, the company could effectively tap into a new revenue stream without actually inventing anything.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Apple Music Was Always Going To Win

Comments Filter:
  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Monday February 05, 2018 @03:01PM (#56072081)
    Preinstalled app used more than 3rd party. Quick, someone tell Microsoft so they can try this with IE, I mean Edge.
    • by Malc ( 1751 ) on Monday February 05, 2018 @03:20PM (#56072209)

      I thought the iPhone only had about a 1/3 market share in the US. Hardly Microsoftâ(TM)s 95+% they had in the heyday of Windows and the browser wars. Come to think of it, how how does Apple Music become the biggest service when itâ(TM)s only available on a minority of devices?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        No idea how many people use it, but Apple Music for Android is a thing.

        • Right, but without a dominant market position, it isn't anti-competitive. Microsoft did this with a market-dominant position, as stated. Windows was on 95% of desktops, so anything they did would become a de-facto standard. Its as if one were to get mad that car makers dictate who integrates the radio. Its ok that they do this, since none of them are market-dominant. Apple has less market share than Android, which saves them from the anti-competitive assault from the fed.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Right, but without a dominant market position, it isn't anti-competitive.

            No it is still anticompetitive, it's the same behaviour it just doesn't fall afoul of anti-trust laws. If the government considers Apple's market position to be dominant then that anticompetitive behaviour becomes illegal but it's the same anticompetitive behaviour.

        • When I checked Google Play Store five minutes ago, I found that Apple Music for Android was incompatible with my Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8" tablet (SM-T350) despite that it runs Android 7. What am I missing?

      • Because people that pay for streaming music on a phone are tiny subset of phone users and are more common among apple users.
      • While 1/3 Market share is very respectable it is hardly enough to get people using Apple Devices who are not Apple Sheep to use it. Especially if they find that their other devices may not work with it.

        iTunes got dominance, not because it was Apple or even a good product, but because it was one of the first places that offered legal Music Download, and its integration to the popular iPod was important too.

        However today, the iPhone isn't nearly as popular as the iPod is. There are a lot of good alternative

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        I thought the iPhone only had about a 1/3 market share in the US. Hardly MicrosoftÃ(TM)s 95+% they had in the heyday of Windows and the browser wars. Come to think of it, how how does Apple Music become the biggest service when itÃ(TM)s only available on a minority of devices?

        It's only preinstalled on a minority of devices.

        It is available for the most popular mobile OS too [google.com].

        • It is available for the most popular mobile OS too

          I opened Google Play Store on my Galaxy Tab A 8" and searched for apple music. Many of the top 16 results imitated the Apple Music eighth notes icon, but not one was published by Apple. I opened Chrome on the same tablet, navigated to your comment, and clicked the link to the app only to see a notice in Google Play Store: "Your device isn't compatible with this version." Nor does it give me a list of devices, and I've noticed the app is also incompatible with a lot of other Android devices [androidcentral.com].

          Is Apple manufact

          • No, that's just the way Apple is. They expect you to upgrade to the latest so you can use their software. Yes really.
      • I thought the iPhone only had about a 1/3 market share in the US. Hardly Microsoftâ(TM)s 95+% they had in the heyday of Windows and the browser wars. Come to think of it, how how does Apple Music become the biggest service when itâ(TM)s only available on a minority of devices?

        I think the usually given reason is that they may have 1/3 of the market, but they have 2/3s of the users willing to pay money for things.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If Spotify wants my business they can program their app in something more efficient than JavaScript and node. Just having their shitty app open cuts my battery life by several hours. iTunes might be bloated but it has negligible effect on my battery life.

  • the company could effectively tap into a new revenue stream without actually inventing anything.,

    they sound surprised apple would ever do such a thing

    • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

      If the money is just laying there on the ground you can't blame them for picking it up.

      • by Osgeld ( 1900440 )

        no I don't, its kind of how apple has always worked, after all "great artists steal"

        • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

          It's not the ability to innovate that makes companies successful, it's the ability to exploit innovations.

  • >> After all, there wasn't anything quite like it at the time, and Americans love to feel innovative.

    So I haven't been using Pandora since 2008 or 2009?
    • by Altrag ( 195300 )

      Its not about the tech. Its about the licenses. Pandora was moderately popular but Spotify managed to get all the major licensing deals and by that, beat out much of the competition. Average users don't care if you got a 0.38% better compression ratio or if you provide better deals for indie artists. They care about listening to the latest pop song right now. If you don't happen to have that one, your market share will suffer.

  • by Ed Tice ( 3732157 ) on Monday February 05, 2018 @03:10PM (#56072135)
    Android is the most popular mobile OS and Google hasn't been able to leverage their size to push much of anything. Google Plus? I think Google also has a music service? In this case, the services are probably so similar that it's hard for consumers to tell them apart and the convenience of being preloaded may be enough. But this is only true in parity product situations.
    • Google doesn't push GPM down the throats of its users. The mobile app has some issues but it's the best service of them all as far as my preferences go.

      As for Google Plus, I've never understood why it didn't take off. It's lacks a false sense of security, and has some pretty solid communities. One benefit of it being less popular is that it also has fewer morons on it.
      • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Monday February 05, 2018 @04:22PM (#56072605) Homepage Journal

        Google doesn't push GPM down the throats of its users.

        Well, it kinda does, it's just Play Music is always pushing so much other crap that you probably don't notice.

        I'm in the boat I rarely use Play Music. It's a terrible app. Just launched it after not using it for a while and the first thing I see is a popup "Music for where you are". I can't do anything with the app until I respond to the popup, which reads "At the gym? In the car? On your couch? Get music based on your location". I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE FUCK THAT'S EVEN SUPPOSED TO MEAN. Why why why why would I be interested in different music if I'm sitting down vs, I don't know, not sitting down?

        Let me hit Skip. OK, now it's a bunch of recommendations. My music library is nowhere to be seen. I guess I'm going to have to hit the hamburger menu. Music Library is at the top... hahah, just kidding, no it's the fifth item in the menu, just below "New Releases". Wait? What? New Releases? And above that is "Top Charts"? So Google wants me to look at someone else's music library before I get access to my own.

        But let's go to Music Library, and OK, Google at least defaulted to Albums, because that's the last thing I used presumably. But have you seen the albums view? Google has managed to fuck this one up too, at any one time I can see six albums on screen. The screen is dominated by album covers. These covers consist of a gray box with a darker gray circle containing a music note in them for 90% of my library, because it doesn't recognize the CD I ripped.

        Underneath each is the label JUST KIDDING, no it's about 14 characters from the start of the label. Why 14? Because that's all that will fit on one line if you split the screen into two columns of boxes. If they, you know, showed a list, like the iPod used to do, I'd probably see the whole label in the majority of cases. But now I see things like "The 9 symphoni..." and "Adventures beyo..."

        Well, what I want to listen to is Beethoven's symphony #6. The version in my library. I can't use the album view because it sucks, so let me use the search. I try "Beethoven symphony 6" and I get.... directed to... some Beethoven "radio station"? And nothing in my library. I mean, why the fuck would I want that? I literally have no way of finding the right album without scrolling through boxes of circles with music notes in them squinting at text that might include part of the word "Symphony" in it but rarely even includes the composer's name.

        This is an awful app. I rarely listen to my music library these days, because the only way to access it is via this thing that sucks, so I've been building playlists using Amazon Prime's free music (and the music I've bought via Amazon) instead, but their app is only marginally better.

        But that said, Amazon, for all their faults, does not stop me looking at my music when I start their app, bringing up a dialog box to demand I look at some shitty new feature.

        One day I will meet Sergey Brin. I will hand him my phone. I will tell him there is a version of Beethoven's 6th in my library, and give him 30 seconds to find it. When he fails, I'll ask him why.

        • by farble1670 ( 803356 ) on Monday February 05, 2018 @05:23PM (#56073023)

          I can't do anything with the app until I respond to the popup

          I just started the app and I don't see that popup. I can't recall ever seeing it.

          Let me hit Skip. OK, now it's a bunch of recommendations. My music library is nowhere to be seen.

          1. Start app
          2. Hamburger menu
          3. Select "Music Library"

          These covers consist of a gray box with a darker gray circle containing a music note in them for 90% of my library, because it doesn't recognize the CD I ripped.

          The only part of my lib that has missing art are singles for which there is no album (but I guess it could look up the album that contains that song) and audio books that I uploaded (but actually it found the cover with the audiobooks for most of them). You probably f'ed up your rips and didn't include meta data.

          Underneath each is the label JUST KIDDING, no it's about 14 characters from the start of the label.

          On my device, it's 21 characters for the title and much more for the artist. I don't see the problem. It's a compromise between fitting and many elements on the screen as possible and providing enough information to identify the element.

          so let me use the search. I try "Beethoven symphony 6" and I get.... directed to... some Beethoven "radio station"?

          I search for an artist for which there's an album in my library. The first entry was an "artist" link. The second was a list of albums, for which my album was the first in the list.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Cut down on caffeine? I have no real issues with Play Music and I've been using it for years. If I get a pointless suggestion like "Music for Saturdays" I just ignore it. The "Radio" feature works amazingly and unlike Spotify, doesn't choose songs that I have given a thumbs-down to. Only annoying thing they've done semi recently is move the Playlists drop-down to a new position but it's nothing I haven't gotten used to. Play Music is so much better than Spotify. I haven't used Apple's streaming music

        • Apple's iTunes stinks just as much. As another poster said, it's really gone downhill since about version 9. Screens full of useless crap, bloody album art instead of a list view, byzantine editing of playlists. Blech.

      • GPM is a trainwreck. Their catalogue is a mess, with tons of artists lumped together because of similar names, albums with duplicate tracks and a host of other problems.

        They never fix anything, no matter how many times you report obvious errors.

        In contrast, Spotify generally fixes content errors within a week or two.

      • by Altrag ( 195300 )

        G+ failed to take off because it was a much weaker competitor to the well-established Facebook, providing fewer features and absolutely nothing in the way of benefits.

        And then Google tried to force the issue by forcing you to merge all your various Google accounts (Youtube accounts in particular since well.. Youtubers like to bitch about things.. a lot!), forcing you to use your real name, constantly bugging you to +1 things, etc. That in-your-face campaign got massive blowback (especially the account merg

        • Hashtags weren't anything new. Other sites like del.icio.us and Livejournal had been using them for some time (and far more appropriately, too). The limited messaging made little to no sense, either. I still don't understand why Twitter exists.

          Even stranger to compare is Myspace VS Facebook, and Facebook VS G+. I think if Google had have waited a bit longer, they probably could have taken over - with the reports that we have been seeing lately of people leaving Facebook, it would have been a great time
    • I think Google also has a music service?

      You mean Google Play Music? Or are we talking Youtube? Or maybe Youtube Music? Or are we talking about the new streaming service they are building (seriously):
      https://www.theverge.com/2017/... [theverge.com]

      My question: is there anyone here that fails to see the problem with this marketing strategy?

  • Itunes just sucks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Archfeld ( 6757 ) <treboreel@live.com> on Monday February 05, 2018 @03:11PM (#56072147) Journal

    It doesn't matter that it came from apple, or Atari or whomever. Not using apple hardware ensured I never got wrapped up in that nightmare that is iTunes.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      When used on MacOS, iTunes is pretty good, On windows it might be another story.

      • I concur. The default interface of the last few versions are worst than the ones before them, though - probably because of the popularity of Apple Music. But after a few changes, it can be made usable again.

        • by MachineShedFred ( 621896 ) on Monday February 05, 2018 @04:41PM (#56072723) Journal

          iTunes was the most useable at version 9. When they added this ridiculous interface we see today where even on the "large screen" iPhone 7+ / 8+ it can show all of four albums at a time instead of 10+ in a list with scaled album art and ABSOLUTELY NO LANDSCAPE FUNCTIONALITY WHATSOEVER, it's been downhill ever since.

          Remember CoverFlow? Bring that back for if someone cares about the album art. Otherwise, just give us a damn list like the iPod has had since 2001 - it's more efficient and just works better.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It doesn't matter that it came from apple, or Atari or whomever. Not using apple hardware ensured I never got wrapped up in that nightmare that is iTunes.

      The iTunes Windows software nightmare I went through (years time ago) was enough for me, never again. I still feel violated.

      • by arth1 ( 260657 )

        Part of the problem was that iTunes installed QuickTime. I'm not sure whether that's a requirement anymore, but it was a showstopper, especially for people who needed to be at a specific and different version of QuickTime to support other programs or specific hardware.

        Another showstopper was how iTunes would full-screen itself no matter how many times you resized it to a manageable size, and steal focus. It seemed made for single-tasking people who can't deal with overlapping windows.

        From a music playing

    • by Uberbah ( 647458 ) on Monday February 05, 2018 @03:31PM (#56072285)

      Then how do you know it's a nightmare. Going off of some anecdote that dates back to the Bush Administration?

    • Using Apple hardware doesn't mean you will automatically experience iTunes hell. I use lots of Apple hardware and haven't used iTunes in over 2 years. Yes, I agree that iTunes sucks but Apple doesn't force you to use it.
      • The last time I was testing out media player apps, every one had a little sucky built in webserver to upload music to. I didn't understand why until I realized iTunes was the only way to upload music that all apps could share. Not using iTunes meant I had to upload my library for every media app I tried because it got stuck in that app's little jail.
  • ... I hope it's been improved since Apple took it over.

    Beats took over MOG, which was great. Beats UI was horrible, so I dropped it (or rather didn't switch to it - they didn't even do a real migration) and went with Spotify.

  • Apple Music Was Always Going To Win

  • by enjar ( 249223 ) on Monday February 05, 2018 @03:28PM (#56072267) Homepage

    From TFA: "Globally, however, Spotify remains in a league of its own, with nearly twice as many paid subscribers as No. 2 Apple, and slightly faster subscriber growth."

    I'm a happy Spotify customer. It works on every platform we have in our house, including Linux

  • by The Good Reverend ( 84440 ) <michaelNO@SPAMmichris.com> on Monday February 05, 2018 @03:30PM (#56072273) Journal

    I used Pandora and Spotify until I got my iPhone 6, which was my first that had Siri. Being able to use voice control for my music in the car made Apple Music the obvious choice.

    Since the catalog is pretty much the same for on-demand specific music between the major services, the one that is integrated into my phone just makes sense. If Amazon or Spotify stood out in some other way, I would consider them, but they don't.

  • Sorry, I'd love to comment on your story, but I'm not paying the WSJ for the privilege.
    • Not reading the story has never stopped anyone from commenting on it.
    • Sorry, I'd love to comment on your story, but I'm not paying the WSJ for the privilege.

      Please pick from the list below:

      1. I hate ads. I'd rather pay for my content directly.
      2. I don't mind ads. I'd rather see ads then pay for content.
      3. The artists, IT folks, and so on that produced the content do not deserve to be compensated.

      • Those who hate cross-site tracking can answer a mix of 1 and 2 in a constent manner.

        1. I hate ads. I'd rather pay for my content directly.

        I'd rather pay for my content directly, but I'm not buying a month's subscription to ten different sites just to read one article on each of those sites. So how do I spend 1-5 cents on a single article or pay $10 per month for a bundle of sites? Adult Check would have been great for this, but the publisher of Perfect 10 magazine sued it out of business when too many publishers on Adult Check's network displayed infringing ph

  • by Sweettoother ( 5210699 ) on Monday February 05, 2018 @03:34PM (#56072315)
    The last I heard, more than 90% of computers don't run MacOS and more than 80% of the smartphones being used in the world are not iPhones. That means that less than 10% of desktop and laptop computers, and less than 20% of smartphones, being used today, have Apple Music pre-installed. Based on that alone, it doesn't appear to be a given that Apple Music would win. So, it must have to do with which users are using iPhones and Macs. Also, keep in mind that before streaming services started being offered, iTunes was the biggest music retailer, and iTunes did allow you to stream the content you bought (IIRC, it was called iTunes Match). So Apple just had to get their existing iTunes customers to start paying for Apple Music. I suspect that that, as well as Apple's long-standing entrenchment in the music industry, was what determined whether Apple Music would win or not.
    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      Shhhh! You'll upset the true believers [justjokey.com] (time to re-write this joke).

    • It doesn't appear given that any of them should "win" for whatever that actually means. By definition one service is going to be the most used, unless they all tie in terms of subscriber count, but there's going to be some ranked order in terms of user base. Normally, that likely creates a virtuous cycle that allows one company to come out on top as we see fairly often once a market matures, but the content producers have no desire to see this happen.

      When Apple's music store became the runaway clear succ
  • ... I own my own music, and I don't sell my personal information in exchange for it. I use cash.
    • I'd rather just stream it for free (which I do legally via Spotify). I haven't paid (money) for music in almost 2 years. There's not much reason to do so anymore.
  • Because all Apple devices come preloaded with Apple Music, countless consumers start using Apple Music without knowing any better.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It probably also helps that Apple's war chest is so large that the music cartels cannot litigate them out of profitability or existence.

  • Apple Music was bound to succeed simply because Apple is big enough and rich enough to will it so."

    So what happened with Microsoft Edge browser. It is right there on the taskbar of every new Windows computer and every computer that was "voluntarily" upgraded for free to Windows 10. Is Microsoft not big enough or rich enough to make Edge a leading browser?

    I think Apple Music is a mess but the rivals are worse IMHO. Perhaps people actually do make informed choices based on preference.

  • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday February 05, 2018 @04:19PM (#56072583) Homepage

    It's effectively become the streaming music analogue of Microsoft pushing people to surf the web with Internet Explorer.

    That's misunderstanding either the situation with Apple Music or the situation with Internet Explorer. Apple isn't sabotaging Spotify and making it crash on Apple devices. As far as I know, Apple isn't actively trying to redirect you to using Apple Music with every update of iOS. Apple isn't pushing to have record labels to produce only music that works on Apple Music.

    • by geek ( 5680 )

      "Apple isn't sabotaging Spotify and making it crash on Apple devices"

      No but they are blocking it from Siri, being the default application and hooking into the OS in any meaningful way, plus signing up ON THE DEVICE costs 30% more than Apple Music for their protection money.

      I had both installed, every time I got in my truck Apple Music would come up on bluetooth, even though I like Spotify. It did this every single time I got in the truck until the latest OS update where I could "uninstall" Apple Music.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Apple should be investigated for anti trust here. This is the same type of bundling that got MS in trouble with Windows/IE.

    What's more.. Apple grants Apple Music access to OS-level functionality not available to any other music streaming service on iOS (namely, voice control through Siri).

    I'm a Spotify user and I will not be compelled into using Apple Music. But damn, I really need voice controls when driving!

  • I always used either Spotify or Google Play as I could get them at cheaper pricing. I finally switched to Apple Music for one reason. Quite often when I got into my car, Apple Music would play the same song every time. It wasn't even a song that I liked. It was a song that was free that they offered at some point. It seems like if you have a third party music app and you get out of the car with that music playing, You later inside the house stop playing that third party app and launch other games and s

"How many teamsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?" "FIFTEEN!! YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?"

Working...