Apple PR comes out swinging in defense of Apple Music

Apple was very quick to respond Tuesday to a press release about a MusicWatch survey with claimed “forty-eight percent of Apple Music users have stopped using the service,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune. The story “got picked up by the New York Post, Cult of Mac, Digital Trends, TechnoBuffalo and The Verge.”

“Three hours and 41 minutes later,” P.E.D. reports, “The Verge issued an update: ‘In a statement to The Verge, Apple says that 79 percent of people who signed up for Apple Music are still using the service.'”

P.E.D. writes, “I take the incident as a measure of how serious the company is about its place in the music industry, and how hard in the critical three-month free trial period it’s willing to fight for Apple Music’s share of the fast-growing music streaming market.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple has been on the defensive over Apple Music ever since Eddy Cue felt the need to crow to USA Today about 11 million signups to a free service that launched a month prior in over 100 countries and many, including ourselves, simply weren’t impressed.

On the whole, despite some unfortunate bugs which led to awful publicity, the entirety of the Apple Music product is strong, despite some glaringly bad UX issues (mainly in iTunes), but the penetration simply isn’t.

Perhaps not as many people as Apple and the music industry hoped — reportedly, they have an internal goal of 100 million Apple Music subscribers (by some unknown date) — really care enough about music to even bother signing up for a three month free trial to basically all of the world’s recorded music, much less pay $9.99 per month for access to it?

Apple: 79 percent of those who signed up for Apple Music are still using it – August 18, 2015
Are 11 million Apple Music subscribers – during a free trial in over 100 countries – worth bragging about? – August 10, 2015
Apple Music has 11 million trial members, App Store has July record $1.7 billion – August 6, 2015

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


    1. As I comment below, I’m not looking forward to the potential pain of quitting Apple Music and watching my hard fought playlists and database of tunes I personally added go swirling off to nowhere. There’s raw anger waiting in response.

  1. A catalog of 37 million songs. Available across all your Apple devices and to download for offline enjoyment on any of them. All songs playlist-able as part of your existing iTunes collection. And an insanely good curation algorithm that actually finds music you’ve never heard, but usually love. I don’t care what anybody says: Apple Music is absolutely ground-breaking and phenomenal—perhaps the most important piece of the Apple iOS / OSX ecosystem to come along in the last five years.

  2. …Yeah, but let’s be real here. What’s going to be telling is:

    1) Does Apple manage to patch up the beta test that is Apple Music? If I was paying for it, I’d be FUMING at Apple right now!

    2) After the beta testing ends, how many people are going to PAY to keep it? There’s a great number upon which to base an article.

    3) Will stopping Apple Music wreck the database you’ve been building of YOUR OWN music? Or will you have to start from scratch because Apple deleted YOUR OWN music when you quit? I think this last item may be a serious problem. I hope I’m wrong. I know I am NOT pleased when Apple swaps their version of a tune for one I personally put into iTunes. That’s scary.

  3. Apple should leave music streaming to the professionals, like Pandora and Spotify.

    Tim Cook is the absolute WORST CEO in this country right now.

    All he has to do is be gay and babysit the largest tech company in the world… and he’s so incompetent he can’t even do that without announcing his sexuality and political views each and every single week!

    His radical LGBT BS has nothing to do with Apple, but he drug Apple as a company into his disgusting quagmire.

    I’ve passed on a lot of Apple products solely because of him; and I’m sure millions of others feel the same way.

    I can’t wait until we have new leadership!

    1. OK: Fess up, anonymous coward with many names:


      What you keep spewing at us is total rubbish with rat urine on top. But you are intensely wrong, homophobic, asinine and foolish. I don’t look forward to considering an Apple without Tim Cook. He’s not perfect and neither has Apple ever been perfect. But he may well be THE BEST CEO on the planet. Too bad someone’s paying you to lie about and insult him.

      [And yes folks, I enjoy ‘feeding the troll’ when I can bash its head in publicly. I find it to be VERY useful for all concerned. Just be sure you enjoy bashing them and you don’t give them an inch of success in their quest to hurt others. Hurt them instead.]

      1. And please, lame Cook-hating troll. Don’t dump another lecture on us about how ‘it’s just an opinion and I have a right to an opinion’ YAWNER. Just STFU you insulting self-hater. You have nothing to offer humanity, judging from what you write. Oh and: Consider being a RESPONSIBLE human being. Clearly, at this point in your sad life, you are NOT. Yes, I am. That’s why I always use my real name here. You don’t.

        1. If you pulled Cook’s wrinkled scrotum out of your mouth, you could see how this effeminate assclown has f*%ked up more than someone sitting on death row.

          His list of screw-ups are so voluminous that I don’t want to bore MDN by listing them all here… suffice it to say that stock buy backs, the Apple Watch, and Apple Music are high on the list.

          This guy can’t do anything right. He makes Steve Ballmer look like Warren Buffett!

          1. And you make people with limited powers of reason sound intelligent by comparison. Do us all a favour and keep flapping your gums, the noise is amusing, especially when you use gross parts of the anatomy to make your arguments just that much more adolescent. Sorry adolescents, that wasn’t a fair comparison, let’s just call it what it is – infantile verbal masturbation. As you mature and come to terms with your latent homosexuality, perhaps you’ll soften a little on the gay bashing. Good luck with high school, if you make it that far.



    2. Oh Puleeze give this crap a well deserved rest…. Ok you don’t agree with his lifestyle…, your prerogative, just save your rants for another column. Tim Cook IS NOT the worst CEO, and what makes you think Pandora or Spotify are any more professional than Apple?? You said “I’ve passed on a lot of Apple products solely because of him”; So essentially you’ve shot yourself in the foot to get back at TC…. Gee! you’re smart

      1. During his entire reign as CEO of Apple, I challenge anyone to tell me what this c*^ksucker has done RIGHT!

        He botches launches, hires the wrong people, milks dry and then ignores the iPad, introduces one worthless port after another (lightning and now USB-C), caves in to investors and squanders Apple’s stock pile, and otherwise fails to innovate.

        Even when he tries to innovate all we get is:

        A single port underpowered yet expensive Macbook paperweight, an expensive and completely worthless stupidwatch, a horribly disastous UI for iTunes (as well as a late to the party and redundantly expensive music service no one asked for); All this in addition to bug ridden and QA lacking mobile and desktop platform experiences in iOS and OSX!

        1. It’s interesting to me that you seem so turned on by Tim Cook’s sexuality. You don’t just mention it, you mention it graphically.

          I know you are going to reject this, but really, it’s okay: It’s okay that you are turned on by other men. It’s okay that you want to kiss and touch them. You can get past your rage at yourself about this, and accept yourself, and get into a loving sexual relationship with another man. You don’t need to fight it on this message board anymore. We’ll accept you.

  4. Maybe Steve was right after all. People don’t want to rent music. I certainly don’t. I spent a long time building my music collection and I refuse to pay an ongoing fee for basic access to music.

    Unlike videos, which I typically will only watch once (with the exception of a few standout favourites that I’ll watch over & over – Hello Grinch!), I will listen to songs I like hundreds of times and not grow tired of them.

    1. Same here. I haven’t subscribed and probably will not. I like what I like. My wife has Sirius radio and even the oldie station plays oldies I’ve never heard before, and usually with good reason

      It is nice to know that Apple does in fact have a PR Department! Who knew!

    2. I’m sorry, can you please explain? I don’t understand, it is my understanding that apple music provides unlimited access to its entire DB of music of which you may choose to cull as streaming music available via the inet at anytime, but for the cost of admittance you may also choose to download/own as many titles as you have storage to hold, without additional cost, is that correct? What am I missing or misunderstanding? Seriously, please help me understand.

      1. What you download from Apple Music will only play was long as you keep paying your monthly fees. What you buy from the iTunes Store is yours forever for a one-time price.

          1. If they didn’t put such controls in place you could sign up, download a ton of music and then cancel your subscription and keep all that music! That would never fly.

    1. Apple Music is poorly organized, was released with a crippling flaw, and has been weakly marketed (so far). Otherwise, we love it and we definitely will be subscribing.

      Criticizing iTunes, Apple’s software quality control or lack thereof, and certain inconsistent UX elements doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t think Apple Music deserves to become the world’s biggest subscription music service. It does.

      Apple still has time to clean things up before Apple Music becomes a for-pay operation.

      1. Otherwise, we love it.?! — Sounds like my ex: love ya babe, great tits, but you talk too much, don’t think much of housekeeping, and could do with a makeover…but clean up your act and I’ll stick around. WTF? Of course, criticism of corporations is different from criticism of people. Or is it?

    2. There are probably a bunch of editors that do the MDN take.. We’re just seeing the range of their opinions. The only really annoying part sometimes is the rehashing/cut-n-paste of the exact same take across multiple articles.

  5. I used to run out and immediately buy/download the latest Apple offering at version 1.0.

    I won’t any more.

    Eventually I’ll get around to trying Apple Music. Once I know it’s working well.

    Keynote, iTunes, iPhoto, Photos, Final Cut, OS X and especially the new Pages have all taught me that Apple downloads can’t always be trusted to delight anymore. A new high-end iMac is inexplicably sluggish using Photos, and a new MacBook is underwhelming me on the road.

    They’re still innovating like crazy, but they’re also happy to disappoint (in small ways — but in lots of small ways).

    As a long-time customer and shareholder I think that’s a shame. Apple’s advantage is the big mind-blowing unveiling that captures the imagination of millions and creates a stampede to go get it ASAP. They are falsely accused of many things, but it feels like they *are* losing that.

    1. Maybe “losing that” is too harsh.
      Perhaps “failing to continue to grow” is more correct.

      iPhone 6 saw the stampede effect.
      Apple Watch? The jury is still out.
      Music? Nope.

    2. Totally with you on Pages and Keynote – they took a giant step backwards with them and I’m afraid ceded the market to Google. Still levels above Microsoft mind you, but, alas, that isn’t saying much.

  6. When it comes to the debate of weather to subscribe or not it really comes down to the album price mentality. As an avid music lover I would not think twice to buy a minimum of 10-20 CD’s a month before iTunes. Until a few years ago it I was probablyThat’s a healthy music budget.
    I was an early mover in ripping my CD collection to an external drive and I am at probably 1TB of media now. Syncing and making playlists etc At this point is a mission as is keeping up and managing the library.

    I have resisted the sub services but I am starting to change my mind.
    Most subscription services are averaging at $10 a month with a library that is all encompassing and would dwarf most peoples collections. The choice and depth is astounding. Thats $120 a year. Just say one tenth of my previous budget with 120 x the library. easily. I am still going to buy albums but I am now averaging maybe 10 – 20 a year if that.

    The crux of the matter is streaming on the go and the dent it makes in your ISP/mobile plan. My phone is my “current” music playlist and streaming while driving is not an economical option really. At work i jus started listening to Free Spotify ( the ads are pretty minimal). Haven’t jumped over to Music yet. I do want to give it a try and judge for my self. It has rejuvenated my interest in finding new artists though. The curation algorithms are pretty good.

    At this point the price is irrelevant when i look at the convenience of it.
    Like many I was of the “owning my own music” camp.


    Meh. But thats just me in my world. everyone is different.
    We have so many options now.

    Buy the best. Rent the rest.™


  7. Wups. sorry for the grammartarded sentence in there!

    The other elephant in the room is iTunes. Running it just hogs a whole lot of everything. Just not efficient anymore.

  8. Regarding MDN take “basically all the world’s recorded music” — not even close. Keep in mind there are many iTunes stores, and you get access to the music in only one of them. I have access to the U.S. store, but I can neither purchase nor listen to (via Apple Music trial) most of the music from the Japanese iTunes store, and most of those artists are not represented in the U.S. store. If you could *really* get access to all the music in all of the iTunes stores — that would be something truly new and revolutionary.

  9. Apple music is, I imagine, ideally suited for people who listen to disposable music. I signed up but then realised I could never use it – I don’t wear earbuds and, of course, my iPod with 700cds worth of mostly classical music doesn’t do apple music. So I cancelled it.

    Now I need to find a third party Mac app for Music that knows that Mozart W.A. and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart are the same guy, but Bach J.S. and J.C. Bach are not.

    It would be nice if Apple employed some people with cultural expertise. And, no, Lady GaGa is not culture.

  10. It’s false and made up stories like that which cause Apple stock to drop like a rock for no reason. Apple definitely needs to put the facts out there when people down right lie and put out made up crap and publish it.

  11. The question is whether the 48% loss represents those that cancel their subscriptions in the group whose Free Trial period has ended. Apple’s number could represent the larger group of those that continue to subscribe as well as those currently remaining in their free trial period. If the number of people starting the free trial gradually is increasing over time it is entirely possible for both numbers to be ‘correct’.

  12. Oh dear. Whenever the professional liars in the PR dept come out to play, it always and only means there’s something really wrong and the time has come to be slippery and totally spinning some issue.

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