“Apple Music. It’s toast,” Bob Lefsetz writes for The Lefsetz Letter. “Apple Music provides nothing new other than a live radio service, which is mildly interesting, but never forget that iTunes Radio didn’t put a dent in Pandora. And sure, Beats 1 will make it worldwide before Pandora ever does, but is that what the world is clamoring for, a global radio service? I don’t think so.”
“Three months free is a good start, but there’s no incentive to keep up your subscription. And those already desirous of paying for streaming already do, and getting someone to switch is difficult, especially to a company that evidences such hubris,” Lefsetz writes. “The truth is Iovine is tone-deaf. He’s way out of his league. He comes from a land where relationships and intimidation mean everything. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours and we’ll make it on the image of propped-up stars. But the truth is in the modern era the winners are faceless techies who go their own way, whether they be Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Evan Spiegel of Snapchat or Nick Woodman of GoPro. They’re giant slayers who think different, something Apple used to have a hold on.”
“I’m mortified by my experience with the Apple Watch. Jony Ive may be a great designer, but when it comes to what’s under the sheen, he’s brain dead. You’re selling me a watch that doesn’t tell time, that doesn’t perform the basic functions of a wristwatch? And you’re selling it as a luxury good? This is all wrong and does not portend a good future, especially when Angela Ahrendts is hired to promote it. I used to believe in Apple, but my faith is flagging,” Lefsetz writes. “Of course Apple Music won’t fail completely. But it will not eviscerate YouTube, it will not get everybody to pay, it probably won’t even dominate the streaming sphere.”
“The reality is right now music is primarily a freemium product. And you won’t get everyone to pay by either closing down YouTube or offering this imitative service,” Lefsetz writes. “You will only win by providing what the customer wants, by having people play in to your web. And the customer doesn’t want Apple Music, doesn’t need Apple Music, and the hardest problem facing musicians is getting people to listen to their tunes at all, not getting paid.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Just getting this one the record here for future reference, but we will offer a bit of rebuttal:
1. Our Apple Watches all “tell time,” and exceedingly accurately, too.
2. Our Apple Watches perform all of “the basic functions of a wristwatch” and then some.
3. Lefsetz’s comments regarding Jimmy Iovine and Angela Ahrendts come across as morbid jealousy. That right, Bob, they both made more money last week than you’ll make in your entire lifetime. Have a nice day now.
4. iTunes Radio already has 30 million users in the U.S. and Australia and this is before it becomes Apple Music Radio!
5. Apple Music’s goal is not to get “everybody” to pay. Apple Music’s target, like all of Apple’s products, is the quality customer; those with disposable income and the willingness to spend it. The rest, “everybody” else, are virtually worthless (oh, sure, you can run ads for check cashing outfits and bail bondsmen; good luck with that; they don’t pay, either).
Quality customers are worth significantly more than those who settle for “free” wares to developers, advertisers, third-party accessory makers, vehicle makers, musicians, music labels, TV show producers, movie producers, book authors, carriers, retailers, podcasters… The list goes on and on. The quality of the customer matters. A lot. And, via the Mac, iPhone and iPad, Apple’s already amassed the vast majority of quality customers. They’re already in the ecosystem. The massive ecosystem to which Apple Music is being added in 18 days. Like “Android,” Pandora and Spotify can have everybody else and try to make a go of it with free ad-supported services to which the labels and musicians will deny exclusives and, eventually, their music altogether, because they’re simply not getting paid (see: Taylor Swift).
Facile analyses that equate one “freemium” user to one paying subscriber, 1:1, are fatally flawed.