Apple Music’s strategy: Free premieres for all, not exclusives for subscribers only

“The idea of Apple Music struck fear in the hearts of listeners like me. The company had enough money to buy exclusives that could fracture and balkanize the world’s music catalog,” Josh Constine writes for TechCrunch. “The problem with exclusives on services like Tidal or Spotify is that only the tiny percentage of people who pay for their subscriptions can hear these songs when they want. It could have been the same with Apple.”

“But it turns out that through Connect and Beats 1 Radio, Apple Music has built a strategy that attracts debuts from the biggest artists in the world and makes them available to everyone for free,” Constine writes. “This in turn attracts users to Apple Music’s free trial. Plus it’s a lot more friendly to listeners.”

“Yesterday, the brand new music video for The Weeknd’s smash single ‘I Can’t Feel My Face’ dropped on Apple Music Connect, the only place it’s available,” Constine writes. “In just the last few weeks, Apple Music got to premiere new songs and videos by Drake, M.I.A., Skrillex and Vic Mensa, and Black Eyed Peas.”

MacDailyNews Note: And Keith Richards (“Trouble”).

“That’s because it’s not locking them behind a paywall,” Constine writes. “Instead, it pushes them to as many people as possible. In some cases, like with Eminem and Drake, Pitchfork reports Apple is even paying to help produce the music videos,” Constine writes. “Black Eyed Peas connectJudging by past debuts, Apple Music isn’t trying to permanently keep the songs off other services.”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: Exactly. Apple is trying to build up a critical mass where Connect becomes the first thing fans check to find new music, videos, news, behind-the-scenes content and much more from their favorite artists. Apple Music’s Connect is already much larger and offers much more than we expected it would at this early juncture, Ping-jaded as are.

BTW, and this — like too many things about Apple Music currently — can be confusing, to follow an artist in iTunes via Connect if you’re an Apple Music member, you click the “Follow” button for each artist in Apple Music, not Connect. If you’re not an Apple Music member, you can follow artists directly in Connect.

You can also follow artists in your iTunes library:
1. Click the “Music” button near the top left of the iTunes window, then click “My Music.”
2. Click the pop-up menu near the top right and choose “Artists.”
3. Select an artist you want to follow, then click “Follow” below the artist’s name.

Hey, Apple, how difficult would it have been to include a dedicated search field atop the Connect feed that would allow Apple Music members quickly type in an artist’s name and be able to “Follow” them right there without having to leave Connect?

Sheesh. What a fscking mess.


  1. I would love for connect to work…but it needs one big thing in my opinion. It shouldn’t look like a Facebook news feed. And they need a section for artist tour dates. Ok…maybe two big things.

  2. Now the music companies want all Apple’s money. Stop, before it’s too late. There’s no good music nowdays, premiere new songs are nonsense. New songs must be the same price as the old/classic one or even cheaper. Connect is worst than Ping. Just stop now.

    1. “There’s no good music nowadays…” I believe that ridiculousness is said every decade but every decade there are people who grow up liking that type of music. Which decade do you think they stopped making “good” music? I’ve been listening to music for over 60 years and I still think there are artists who make “good” music. Different, maybe, but still good. I do have likes and dislikes but that’s just a natural thing.

      I think you’d simply have to sit down and try different artists through the decades to appreciate the huge world of music. I think there must be hundreds of albums from different artists put out in the U.S. alone every year. If you can’t find any “good” music out of any of them then you’re not really trying to appreciate music.

  3. I have tried Apple Music. It’s still a work in progress. Do not like the navigation. By contrast I find Spotify’s navigation much easier to use. Long term, any comparison with other streaming services is meaningless until the 3 month free intro is over.

  4. Won’t try it.

    Something has gone wrong with Apple software design. Hidden menus and confusing navigation. Maybe they use the devices so much, they forget we don’t work at Apple.

    Apple is starting to resemble Microsoft. Too big for its own good.

  5. “Hey, Apple, how difficult would it have been to include a dedicated search field atop the Connect feed that would allow Apple Music members quickly type in an artist’s name and be able to “Follow” them right there without having to leave Connect?

    Sheesh. What a fscking mess.”

    Hey, MDN. Why don’t you try your own suggestion? It works for me in OS X and IOS. Getting sick and tired of all your complaints about Apple Music. I LOVE Apple Music!!!

    1. There IS a Big Whopping Search icon to the extreme right n the connect page…. you simply click he magnifying glass, and…. holy Moly! it presents an empty SEARCH field!

  6. Helped a client get on Apple Music Connect today and found out that only iOS devices can post to connect. This is really unprofessional and can lead to all kinds of fat finger post errors, plus is impossible for artists’ management to proxy post, so you’re hearing it straight from the horses mouth, for better or for worse, to string together a couple cliches.

    This is super reminiscent of “our lady of perpetual beta” and not the Jobsian Apple of yore.

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