Apple’s new music streaming service will be a hybrid of Beats and Ping
After months of speculation, some convincing details have leaked about the Apple’s forthcoming streaming service. According to 9to5macs’ Mark Gurman, the service – likely to be called Apple Music – draws inspiration from Apple’s recently acquired Beats service, as well as the ill-fated Ping service. But will it succeed in taking on the likes of Spotify, Tidal and others?
A strong social element
The rumours add to speculation that the new streaming service will be called Apple Music, but also suggests Apple is incorporating a strong social media element to the new service. As Mark Gurman writes, the service is tipped to “allow artists to have their own pages within the streaming music service that they can use to post track samples, photos, videos, and concert updates.”
What’s more, artists won’t be limited to posting their own content. Like Apple Ping, artists will be able to treat their pages like Facebook or MySpace, and they’ll also be able to post music from fellow artists.
What about users? According to current rumours, users of the service will be allowed to comment and like content from their favourite artists – but unlike Ping, they’re no plans to give them profiles of their own. If these social media elements just sound like another annoying feature, fear not – it looks like “Artist Activity” can be turned off.
Based on Beats
After buying Beats seemingly out of nowhere last year, Apple’s plans for its $3bn purchase are now becoming clear. Rather than improving the Radio, playlist and organization functions of its own existing music app, Apple Music will throw them out, replacing them with an Apple-skinned version of their Beats counterparts. It’s also reported Apple will allow existing Beats customers to import their cloud based content without a fuss.
Ping 2.0 or the next Spotify: will Apple Music be any good?
The streaming market is more crowded than ever, and with companies like Tidal, Rdio, Amazon Prime Music all trying to emulate the success of market leaders Spotify, we have to ask what are Apple Music’s chances?
Taking on Spotify
According to Bloomberg, prices start at a rumoured $7.99, so it’s certainly cheap, and knowing Apple there’ll be an extremely large catalogue of music on offer.
With the failure of Ping fresh in the mind of Apple, there is even more pressure on them to get it right with time. Apple needs to think carefully about just how to pitch the social elements of the app. With high-definition music no longer the preserve of audiophiles, Apple will need to ensure that, like Tidal, its service can stream high-definition audio to those that want it.
With these fixes in place Apple Music could be successful, but taking customers away from Spotify is another matter. Exclusivity could help, but it’ll be tough to to get artists to turn away from the regular income that Spotify generates them. Spotify is also available on Android, Windows Phone and iOS, so if Apple want to truly get on equal terms with their Swedish rival, they’ll have to roll out support for other platforms. While Google actively releases apps on its competitors’ devices, Apple Music on Android seems unlikely. Interestingly, the current Beats Music app is available on the three most popular mobile platforms, so we’re not ruling an Apple Music app for Android just yet.