RAIN News reported last week on an EDMbiz presentation by Nielsen Vice President Tatiana Simonian showing further confirmation of the listener migration to online listening. It also confirmed that ad-supported listening is the dominant choice of consumers.
With the release of Apple Music and Beats 1 yesterday, there is still much speculation on Apple's revenue model. AdExchanger's Liz Rowley interviewed several leaders in the industry to get their take on the future of subscription-based vs. ad-supported streaming music services, including XAPPmedia's Pat Higbie.
Apple Music launched this morning with an ad-supported listening service. Yes, there is the subscription service as well. Apple execs never said there wouldn’t be ads. They just didn’t mention it, so the media assumed the company was walking away from the 21-month ad-supported iTunes Radio experiment. We now know this is not the case.
It was a busy weekend. Yesterday, a Taylor Swift Tumblr post explained why she will withhold her 1989 album from the new Apple Music service. A few hours later Apple changed course, decided to incur higher operating costs in perpetuity and is back in Swift’s good graces. Everybody wins? Not likely.
There has been a lot of coverage about the Apple Music presentation last week at the company’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). However, it’s tough to report on what wasn’t said. There were a number of obvious questions that weren’t answered by the Apple Music executives in the debut presentation. I assume that was intentional.
Every audio app wants to build a large, loyal audience. Loyalty is critical because building your audience also means keeping the users you already have. Apps do this today with touch-based content interaction to skip, save, thumbs up, thumbs down, etc. This interactivity gives users this all-important sense of control, but unfortunately touch is only effective while users are looking at the app.
This morning, Spotify released some new numbers in terms of 75 million active users and 20 million subscribers. Just over one year ago, Spotify announced 40 million active users of which 10 million were subscribers.
There has been a lot of talk since Apple acquired Beats last year about the impact the re-introduced streaming service could have on the industry. When it first came to market, there was widespread speculation that Beats might take market share from Spotify. That didn’t happen. Spotify’s growth only accelerated and Beats all but shut down after the Apple acquisition. Though Yesterday, Apple Music was announced and it sounds very Spotify-like.