Jun 11

Is Apple Music Spotify's Largest Rival?

Header image via Consequence of Sound

During their annual Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple unveiled their new music streaming service, Apple Music--the latest entry in the recent music streaming wars. The service integrates some of Apple’s existing aspects, blending user's iTunes library, the Beats Music app and an updated and more heavily curated iTunes Radio, adding up to serve as Spotify’s largest rival.

1.  Apple Learned and Improved Upon Their Competitors

[caption id="attachment_8633" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Apple Music App Apple Music App Screenshots (accessed via arstechnica.co.uk)[/caption] As the iPhone 6 release has showed us, Apple knows how to expand upon their competitors’ ideas. Noting TIDAL’s high cost mistake, Apple Music will remain at the user friendly $9.99/month costing the same as Spotify, but will retain the existing Beats Music Family Plan. To compete with leading service Pandora, Apple Music will launch the first live 24/7 global radio station entitled Beats1, which won’t be using algorithms but instead curated by leading DJ personalities such as Zane Lowe. The same level of customizable expert curation can be expected in the app’s recommendations and playlists “For You” tab. Apple is even going the extra mile by releasing the app on Android devices this Fall.

2. Industry Connections & Credibility

[caption id="attachment_8634" align="aligncenter" width="300"]accessed via arstechnica.co.uk Iovine at WWDC Keynote (accessed via arstechnica.co.uk)[/caption] Apple is using their rolodex to use by integrating their resident talent, and reaching out to high profile musicians to bolster the new brand. When the powerhouse company bought Beats By Dre last year at the price of $3 billion dollars, the company also acquired founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, as well as Trent Reznor as expert consultants. Those names sure do go a long way in gaining artist credibility and connections. Iovine was even in attendance at the keynote to announce the service. He believes “technology and art can work together...at least at Apple.” Artists Drake and The Weeknd also made surprise appearances in support of Apple Music during the keynote announcement, two hit names that were left out of the star-studded TIDAL announcement roster.

 3. App Awareness in Prime Real Estate

Apple is rolling out the app before their next iOS 9 update. Instead of waiting until the Fall, the new service will launch June 30th with front-page placement. Apple Music will be on all Apple mobile device home screens in the prime dock position, serving as a convenient billboard to all  iPhone and iPad users.

 4. Providing an Integrated Social Media Experience

[caption id="attachment_8636" align="aligncenter" width="300"]apple-2 Multi-Platform Capability (accessed via Consequence of Sound)[/caption] Apple Music will introduce a new aspect to their service that Spotify currently does not have: a social media platform where artists can communicate and share exclusive content and behind-the-scenes multimedia with their fans. Connect essentially integrates elements similar to Twitter, Facebook, and SoundCloud directly into the app. It’s another way Apple Music is incorporating the human touch to their service. Another great feature about Connect is that it will aim at a larger audience, allowing both signed and indie artists to use the platform, something that TIDAL went under fire for not including upon initial release.

5. Using Their Name and Brand Power To Good Use

[caption id="attachment_8637" align="aligncenter" width="300"]screenshot via apple.com Apple.com Home[/caption] Apple has always been the company that changed the way people listen to music, from the iPod to iTunes, both changing the way the record industry markets music. With this new service they can be on top in the latest music frontier. They’re not branding Apple Music just as a service, but as an ecosystem-- “one complete thought around music” with the standard “elegance and simplicity” that Apple is known for. By using their strengths and reputation as an industry powerhouse, Apple has always been the forerunner in marketing and ecommerce strategies with their new products, and Apple Music is not likely to disappoint. Apple has years of tried-and-tested experience behind their marketing strategy, and has learned to integrate their strengths into their campaigns. If you’re interested in building the most effective strategy that takes into account your business’s strengths, Digital Operative can certainly help you reach your goals. Contact us today.