“Among the many things that Apple announced at its annual developers conference Monday was one that we really weren’t expecting: the launch of a radio station,” Hayley Tsukayama writes for The Washington Post.
“The rest of Apple’s much-anticipated music service is largely a matter of feature-matching what’s already out there into a neat Apple package. That’s not to say the service isn’t interesting, but on-demand streaming, personalized ‘stations’ to surface new music and even curated playlists are par for the course in the online music world. So is its $10 per month price tag,” Tsukayama writes. “But ‘Beats 1’ is different: a global radio station that features not only a constant stream of curated music, but also real, actual DJs. Apple has tapped three prominent names in radio — Zane Lowe in Los Angeles, Ebro Darden in New York and Julie Adenuga in London — to lead the station, which seems to have the genre distinction of “whatever we think is cool.””
Tsukayama writes, “On his blog, music industry analyst Mark Mulligan said Beats 1 shows that Apple has a nuanced strategy for music. ‘Placing radio centre stage is smart, as that’s how Apple will engage the early follower consumer, who will be Apple’s core target (other than winning back some existing Spotify users),’ Mulligan wrote. ‘Remember, Apple’s core priority is delivering the best possible music experience to as many of its device owners as possible. A [$9.99] subscription service that works for 10% of them is much less interesting than a free radio service that works for 500 million of them.’ He also posited that Beats 2 and Beats 3 could follow, since it’s really hard to make a radio station that actually accomplishes that goal.”
Read more in the full article here.
Mark Mulligan writes for Music Industry Blog, “The long term implications are intriguing. If Apple establishes itself as one of the key engagement platforms it will change some of the core dynamics of music marketing. All the while strengthening its hand and establishing an indispensable role for itself if it doesn’t make meaningful inroads into the subscription market. Consider it a back up plan. But even more interestingly, if it succeeds at both subscriptions and marketing then it suddenly has more power than it ever did in the hey day of the iTunes Store. Apple could emerge with the power to break and then make an artist. Once it gets there record labels will rightly start casting nervous glances over their shoulders.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Beats 1 is another, potentially major, vector for music discovery and it’s headed by Zane Lowe, a personality who’s proven he can grow and retain an audience.
Note that Beats 1 is free; no Apple Music membership is required. Apple Music will work on iOS, OS X, and Windows PCs starting on June 30th and even some version(s) of Android (this fall).
The following Apple Music features do not require a membership and are accessible simply by being signed in with your free Apple ID:
• View artist feed on Connect
• Follow artists on Connect
• Listen to Beats 1 radio station
• Listen to Apple Music radio stations
Apple Music members get those four features above, plus:
• Play and save Connect content
• Like Connect content or radio songs
• Enjoy unlimited listening from the Apple Music library
• Apple Music content to your library
• Save for offline listening
• Get expert music recommendations
Important: At the end of the 3-month trial period, the Apple Music membership will automatically renew and payment method will be charged on a monthly basis until auto-renewal is turned off in account settings.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]
Jimmy Iovine and Eddy Cue: Apple Music gunning for Spotify, YouTube, and terrestrial radio – June 9, 2015
Shark Tank’s O’Leary: Apple Music is a ‘giant nothing burger’ – June 9, 2015
Something about Apple Music betraying Apple’s brilliance by ignoring ‘The Harry Potter Theory of Marketing’ or some such nonsense – June 9, 2015
Bob Lefsetz on Apple Music: What team is Jimmy Iovine on? – June 9, 2015
Apple Music’s huge advantage over Spotify – June 9, 2015
Apple Music is a major mess and it won’t beat Spotify or something – June 9, 2015
When Apple Music arrives, what happens to iTunes Match? – June 9, 2015
What Apple Music says about how Apple views musicians – June 8, 2015
Apple’s revolutionary Apple Music just might prove its skeptics wrong – June 8, 2015
Apple unveils revolutionary Apple Music service – June 8, 2015