“Apple Music Has Failed,” Forbes Declares

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…the extremely-harsh indictment:

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Close to four months have passed since launch, and the Apple Music experience has not been improved in any substantial way. The package that Apple delivered out of the box was horribly mainstream, with a huge focus on popular artists. In my time exploring the playlists and radio it has been hard to find niche music in the package.

Having seen countless people set up their Apple Music profile when they were forced to move to the updated Music app in iOS 8.4, I’d be confident that every single Apple Music user was offered Taylor Swift as a musical recommendation.

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Those bubbles forced mainstream pop music recommendation into everyone’s system, so is it any wonder I’m offered Katy Perry, One Direction, and Miley Cyrus, when a quick glance through my music collection would show that a focus on more Progressive Rock and East European Dance music would be more appropriate?  Apple Music still hasn’t worked this out. Why is it not using the data it can collect to better effect?

Just as the Apple Music recommendations have not been updated, the actual application itself has not seen any major changes.  Beyond fighting the huge firestorm of bugs that caused Apple Music, iTunes, and the iCloud Music Library to clash in the cloud-sync process with little clear information on what was going on, the application has maintained a steady state since launch.

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38 Responses

  1. Name2

    every single Apple Music user was offered Taylor Swift as a musical recommendation.

    “Life is as it should be.”

    — DMN

    • Paul Resnikoff

      When it’s a clean, easy link I will. Otherwise you can Google it. Forbes always sends you to some bad intro page that they force you to watch, then maybe you get to the actual article. They haven’t created a clean experience, and I’m not really sure if there’s a link rot problem down the line.

      • Tone

        Lmao @ that excuse. I read Forbes everyday — it’s not hard to click “skip.” C’mon dude…

        • Paul Resnikoff

          I’m not trying to dig on Forbes, but that experience is a mess. Who knows, maybe they’ve done the analysis and think it’s a good idea, they’re closer to the data. Glad you can tolerate it.

          • frank

            sorry Paul — but that’s an extremely weak excuse. It’s matter of proper attribution, whether the Forbes experience is a mess is besides the point.

          • Paul Resnikoff

            I can see your point, but this is properly attributed, just not linked. I don’t want to send people into a warzone of pre-loading stuff that most people will kill anyway. I think we might get penalized for that, beyond the issue with our users. Then there’s linkrot… it’s just bad news.

          • marc

            F–k that. You’ve been “not linking” for years now and it’s high time your readers called you out on it. It is basic blogging and reporting. If someone else wrote it, you have to provide a link regardless of the subpar experience on their website.

          • Anon

            It’s straight up content stealing with a clickbait title. He’s offered no extra insight to the piece and misattributed it to Forbes instead of a contributor in order to stir up a non-story. Honestly, the laziest, gutter “journalism” I’ve come to expect from DMN.

          • Paul Resnikoff

            Marc, I’m sorry but this is ridiculous. How much more do I need to attribute: after all I mentioned the entire title of the article, and the publication in the title of this piece. Is there any doubt where this came from?

            Now, regarding the link. I mentioned that the forced intro pre-load page on Forbes is a disaster of UI, so I don’t want to send users there. That’s an issue Forbes needs to clean up, in my opinion. Or, maybe they like it, but please don’t force me to send people into that. If you ask me directions, I’m not going to voluntarily send you into a traffic jam.

            And not linking/attributing for years? That’s just not accurate, I fear you are just making things up at this point.

          • droopus

            Oh come on Paul. I’ve been putting complex links up for twenty five years. If it’s a long Google result, I goo.gl or bit.ly it. Forbes isn’t a bad site at all and with adblock, you skip the ads at the front.

            If there’s a problem with a site and people ask for the link I give it to them with a caveat – “the site’s a little funky.” But refusing to provide a link? Highly suspicious and something I have rarely seen even on usenet.

          • droopus

            Oh come on Paul. I’ve been putting complex links up for twenty five years. If it’s a long Google result, I goo.gl or bit.ly it. Forbes isn’t a bad site at all and with adblock, you skip the ads at the front.

            If there’s a problem with a site and people ask for the link I give it to them with a caveat – “the site’s a little funky.” But refusing to provide a link? Highly suspicious and something I have rarely seen even on usenet.

            Here’s the damn link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ewanspence/2015/10/05/apple-music-failure/

          • Anonymous

            “sorry Paul — but that’s an extremely weak excuse”

            Yeah, this is just another version of popcorn time.

  2. Mark Satlof

    Not commenting on the content of the original article or the qualifications of it author, but the attribution is not really “Forbes.” It’s a post by a Forbes Contributor, which is a network of blogger/contributors who, I believe, get paid by the click. The writers are not entirely unsupervised, but they are not writing for Forbes per se.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      It’s someone who writes for Forbes. Forbes pays that person to write for them. Therefore, it’s ‘Forbes’. If that’s not what Forbes wants, they shouldn’t publish it.

      • chuck


        I would assume this Forbes blogger was paid by Spotify to say these things.

        Our Spotify streams are actually going down since Apple Music.


  3. so

    Someone really needs to edit that last paragraph of the original Forbes piece but other than that, he’s pretty much spot on. Three critical mistakes made by Apple: (1) getting too far behind streaming in general, which caused a (2) rush to market; and (3) using Beats Music as its foundation. Artists and labels have been good to Apple. They owed the community a better effort than this.

  4. Lob Befsetz

    Apple has never thrived on being first, but they have thrived on being the best! And re-shaping moribund sectors with sub-rate wares.

    Take the iPod, iPhone, and iPad: all three were late to the game, by years! But all three vastly simplified a product mix that was complicated, completely unreliable, and just bad. In streaming, you have Spotify, which was already good, actually it’s great. That’s where Tim Cook fell flat: he’s riding Steve Jobs fumes, focused on social issues and making people feel good.

    Companies that want to make their employees feel good release crappy products!

  5. Anonymous

    Spotify is no better. What updates has Spotify done? They have removed feature after feature in their desktop app and last few updates have made it a bloated buggy piece of shit. Their mobile app is as shitty as ever. Their music recommendations are way off base or are for music you already have in your library. And let’s not even start on that horrendous trash they call radio.

    • Tone

      Ironically, Spotify’s UI is actually easier to navigate than Apple Music’s. And for the record, I am a paying Apple Music subscriber (I don’t pay for Spotify).

    • lroosemusic


      I rather like the Spotify experience and often find new artists and shows in my area because of their recommendation engine.

  6. FarePlay

    Create a win, win.

    Very simple fix. Invest. Sign some great emerging and established talent to Apple Music, make it exclusive and get those artists involved in promoting the service.

    Can someone please forward this to Iovine or Cue?

    • so

      Who do you think they are going to invest in? Same 1% they’ve already geared the service towards, especially if it involves Iovine. Spotify is far more progressive and receptive to something like this. And exclusives don’t work.

  7. asdf

    Despite being an Apple devotee, I gotta say Apple Music sucks badly. I was waiting for them to fix all the bullshit “iCloud Library” bugs and maybe do a redesign to make the software more functional and intuitive, but nope, they never did. I let my free trial expire. Sticking with Spotify.

  8. Sorry, not sharing my name.

    Hey Paul, your headline isn’t factual. This is a contributor blog, not a payed piece of journalism. So that content isn’t at all “Forbes declares.” It’s an opinion piece by a writer who paid to have their blog posted and are seeking traffic to their content.

    Most Forbes contributors PAY to have their blog posted; and then they might get paid a bit if their post gets enough traffic; so not linking to the article is because you don’t like their landing page is not a real excuse that holds up if you believe the content.

    I expect better journalistic work from you, even though DMS is a blog.

    • Anonymous

      You shouldn’t expect more from him. Paul doesn’t give a damn. Integrity just isn’t his thing – clickbait is.

    • Danwriter

      Paul gets called out for this above, but it’s worth repeating: these “contributors” are bloggers who use the Forbes rubric to burnish their cred and Forbes gets free or low-cost content. They are not editorial staffers. To state that Forbes is declaring Apple Music dead is disingenuous clickbait.

      • Paul Resnikoff

        Hmm, so Forbes totally waters down its name by allowing outside bloggers to PAY them to advance opinions under the Forbes brand, then they are somehow hoping that readers will understand this and somehow make the fine-tuned distinctions of what is ‘actually Forbes’ and what isn’t?

        First off, I don’t even know Forbes is actually getting money from bloggers for pieces like this, but if they are, then they must realize that anything published by Forbes gets attached to Forbes. Sorry, you can’t have it both ways.

        • Bill Rosenblatt

          As a Forbes contributor myself (http://www.forbes.com/sites/billrosenblatt/), I can give you the facts regarding people like the actual author of this piece on Apple Music (more on that later).

          Forbes contributors are not like HuffPo contributors, who have no editorial oversight whatsoever and are hired for pure “tonnage.” We’re hired by editors, by invitation only, after they’ve seen other things we have written. We put up what we want, but it’s subject to editorial oversight, not to mention Forbes’s content management system which inserts things like links to company websites, other Forbes articles, ticker symbols, etc. Heavier contributors get paid (I don’t). We all have to sign contracts with provisions regarding the content we post.

          Now having said all that: Paul, I don’t care that you don’t like the “quote of the day” (I don’t like it either) and other features that don’t give you what you call a “clean link.” You need to provide a link. Period the end. It is just plain unethical not to, and it makes you potentially liable for copyright infringement (not to mention hypocrisy). Do it NOW please.

          • Bill Rosenblatt

            P.S. I am not aware of any Forbes contributor who *pays Forbes* to get pieces put up there. Doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened, just that I haven’t heard of it, and there’s nothing in the contributor agreement that suggests anything like this.

        • Danwriter

          Where do I say that “Forbes is actually getting money from bloggers”? I don’t. What I said was that Forbes gets free or low-cost content from these bloggers. And the non-medicated members of the DMN commentariat seem to be aware of the distinction between contributors and staff reporters. You’d have been more accurate with a hed that stated that a Forbes contributor or commentator opined that Apple Music has failed.

  9. mulle

    I think Apple Music already is better than any of the other streaming services but has some work to do on the UI.

  10. jujudellago

    yeah, deleted my account in less than 24 hours….. considering what is on my own library, I just found the suggestions insulting

  11. Michael

    I couldn’t disagree more! I’m a catalogue-save-leftist,

  12. Rick Shaw

    “Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war.”
    Donald Trump