Hey Biz talkers! Well, Apple just launched it’s new music streaming service yesterday (June 30, 2015). The service will offer a wide range of interactive and non-interactive music streaming options, and will be free for the first 3 months before shifting to a full paid only subscription service to be offered to consumers at a cost of $10.00 a month.
It is clear from the news reports leading up to the launch that Apple intends to put it’s main competitor, Spotify, out of business. It’s approach is to offer a streaming experience that is so dynamic, the mandatory cost of access will be worth it to the consumer. Spotify has been hugely successful by offering free streaming services with an option to join with a paid monthly subscription for enhanced streaming services. In fact, 80% of Spotify’s current paid subscribers began as free only users. Apple recently overcame a major hiccup with content after Taylor Swift pulled her “1989” album from the service until Apple succumbed and agreed to pay Swift and all other recording artists royalties during the three month free trial.
Now to the million dollar question-Will Apple music put Spotify out of business? Time will tell. However, I feel that the answer to this question depends on 2 major factors-1. will Apple’s service be attractive enough to recording artists that they will place new music, concerts and other content with Apple exclusively creating a truly unique experience?, and 2. will the content offered by Apple be so innovative from a consumer experience standpoint that users would never see free streaming as a viable alternative? My opinion is that Apple will stand toe to toe with Spotify as another option that will enrich the music marketplace. However, I feel that the overwhelming desire for free quality music content will continue to keep Spotify viable for many years to come. Ultimately, like any business model, the long term viability of Apple and Spotify music will depend upon how well each adapts to satisfying the changing tastes of the consumer whose dollars will carry the day. See you next time!