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Review: The Apple Music hype

It’s 12 days after Apple released Apple Music to the public with much fanfare. First thoughts including mine look like Apple Music was a beautiful built, designed, and going to blow Spotify out of the water. However Spotify is seeing higher than normal downloads and everyone is comparing Apple Music to Spotify. While Apple held the title for industry leader when it came to song downloads on iTunes, but now they have a lot of work to do to take the title for streaming music from Spotify. The upper hand Apple Music has is its close ties to the music industry, and its higher paying royalties to the music labels, artist, and producers.

Apple Music looks like a beautifully designed app at first glance, but as you dive deeper it becomes clear it lacks focus. The app is trying to combine iTunes, old school radio, with the newer all you can eat streaming method. The streaming service combines your old iTunes library with your Apple Music library for better or worse. I grew up with buying music on iTunes and have a range of music that I don’t care for to the ones I now love. The process to delete iTunes purchased music can not only be confusing but almost nearly impossible.

The biggest talking point journalist have been gawking over is Beats1, which is an always on radio station that streams the same music to every listener. It’s not a new idea nor is it something that people haven’t tried before, but its something no other streaming service had done before Apple Music. Beats1 is hosted by famous and well known DJ’s from around the world, and is spearheaded by Zane Lowe. Apple Music is pushing for curation from humans and not computer generated suggestions. Beats1 doesn’t have any other competition from other services, and doesn’t look like it will soon.

The tab that I’ve ignored and haven’t bothered to really take for a spin is the connect tab. The tab is trying to make Apple Music social with its artist and their listeners. The bands and artist can share post, pictures, and other content with their followers right on Apple Music. It’s similar to Ping that Apple killed well over a year ago, but is being pushed more than Ping was. It’s almost information overload when you start to navigate the app,  but once you’re over the learning curve things feel like home. Connect wants to be the best way for artists and bands to connect with their artist, and right now it is the best way. Users already follow artist and bands that they frequently listen to and can follow more very easily. Apple has built a way for users to not only listen to their favorite music but also to connect with the artist and bands that create it.

Apple has an upper hand with them looking the saviour compared to Spotify. The music industry hates free to play, and Apple Music not only wants to kill that but pays higher per stream for music. Apple Music also pays during the free trailer after Taylor Swift called the company out for not putting the artists first. If the company can take down Spotify is still a far way from being seen, but Apple is known for jumping in the game at the right times. The service is being pitched to users who haven’t used streaming services or users who don’t like Spotify for different reasons. Apple will gain more market share when users go to play music and are directed to sign up for Apple music, compared to having to download and sign up for another account for services like Spotify.

Overall Apple Music isn’t that different from Spotify, Rdio, Amazon Music, or Google Music. It offers a similar library as all of the other services, with the exception of having Taylor Swift. There is a big learning curve when you first start using Apple Music, and will deter some users who like iTunes. Apple has your iCloud library, Apple Music library, and your iTunes library, which makes it hard to tell which music you actually own. Apple wants to not only keep the iTunes brand and purchasing system but also the iCloud Match library so you can have your music on any device.

Now that you know what I think I’d love to hear what you think about Apple Music in the comments below!



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