The streaming battle continues…
Apple Music major update.
According to a report by Bloomberg, Apple is planning a complete overhaul of its Apple Music streaming service in a bid to gain dominance in the music streaming market. The rumour is that Apple is planning to unveil its major update this month at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), a year after it launched.
The decision to make changes to the platform come amidst mixed reviews of the initial launch, with people saying that the platform falls short of Apple’s high standards. The news is that there will be changes made to the user interface to make it more user-friendly. There’s also talk regarding plans to integrate its streaming and download businesses.
What effect will this have on rival Spotify, if any?
There is no doubt that Apple Music made a big splash on the music streaming scene last year when it launched. The platform experienced unprecedented growth, reaching a milestone in 6 months that took rival Spotify 6 years to accomplish. But, many say the reason for such strong growth is that Apple Music entered the market at the right time, with a ton of cash, after Spotify had already been working on changing consumers attitudes towards paid streaming.
Apple’s brand power and global reach most definitely have helped.
That said, Apple’s plan to weigh in on Spotify and dominate the market may be tougher than expected. At last count, Spotify had 30 million paying users, Apple Music had 13 million, and last month Spotify shared that Since Apple Music started they’ve ‘been growing quicker and adding more users than before.’
The numbers also prove this. It took Spotify from 2008 to 2014 (6 years) to hit 10 million paying subscribers. Spotify’s growth then started to pick up momentum in 2015, right about when Apple Music launched. The streaming service managed to gain an extra 10 million subscribers in just over one year, hitting 20 million paid subscribers in 2015. It then took Spotify approximately 9 months to gain an extra 10 million, hitting 30 million paid subscribers in 2016.
Both Apple Music and Spotify are now adding approximately 1 million paying users per month, and if they continue to do so DMN predicts that by the end of 2016 we will see Apple Music surpassing 20 million subscribers, and Spotify nearly reaching double that amount at nearly 40 million subscribers. Spotify may be well head of Apple Music when it comes to subscriber numbers, but the streaming platforms are neck-and-neck when it comes to other factors, such as price, catalog and music discovery.
Yes, Spotify is more established, but Apple Music is already in approximately 50 more countries than Spotify. Apple Music has something that Spotify doesn’t have, and that’s the ability to inject large sums of cash into the service without having to rely on funding rounds to finance the business. This may be key to Apple Music’s success in the music streaming market and its ability to become the leader.
(Image by Toglenn, Creative Commons, Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, cc by-sa 3.0)