Ironically, up until now, the creators of the iPod haven’t been much of a serious player in the booming music streaming industry. Apple is hoping to change that with the introduction of Apple Music, but they have arrived uncharacteristically late and aren’t the only show in town. There are over 10 other services available, with Spotify as their biggest competitor.
The biggest way Apple Music hopes to set itself apart from the herd and gather its market share is by offering a global radio station called “Beats1” and a social networking component called “Connect.” Beats1 plays live radio shows from LA, NYC, and London, hosted by well-known DJs. It hearkens back to the days of the live radio shows so many non-millenials grew up on, and has a flare of worldliness that appeals to many. It’s being hailed by the tech world as “surprising genius” and “exactly what a radio station should be.” (Source) The best part? It’s free!
With Connect, listeners can peek backstage, interact with musicians, and even see what the musicians are listening to, which is a feature that Spotify’s similar “follow” option doesn’t offer. Connect makes people feel like insiders, and because it’s integrated with Facebook and Twitter, users can also tell their friends. (Source)There’s no doubt that social networking works. The first quarter of 2015, statistics show that Twitter had 236 million active users (Source) and that Facebook had 1.44 Billion (yes, billion) monthly users. (Source)
Adding these kinds of numbers to people’s love of music seems like a no-lose situation. Of course, musicians are already sharing things on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and a variety of other platforms, so why spend $10/mo on Apple Music vs Spotify and others? Ease. A lot of people are already comfortable with Apple products and services and sticking with Apple for music streaming just makes life a little easier and gives a person one less password to remember. “Apple Music’s biggest asset is its integration: You don’t have to download extra software. You use your Apple ID to pay for it. And it can tap into your iTunes library, allowing you to listen to any of those songs while you’re on the go—even if you don’t have them downloaded to your device.”(Source)
One yahoo reader said “This will survive just because of the blind devotion some have over all things Apple. Apple could sell people an 8 track player and they’d wait in line for it.” (Source) Perhaps the Midas touch of Apple is the most important factor of all in turning Beats1 and Connect into solid gold.
(Here’s a good website for more in-depth information on how it all works.)