1. It’s about the money.
Never lose sight of this. Apple Music will only be a success if ninety days in, a great proportion of those kicking the tires pay to subscribe. And this is doubtful. Because most people are cheap and the only way you can compete with free is to provide a service you can’t get elsewhere, that is so good people clamor to pay for it. As long as music is free on YouTube, as long as Spotify has a free tier, Apple Music is screwed.
2. All the buzz is about the radio station.
Conversation is about Beats 1, not the on demand streaming service. And this is death for Apple, because Beats 1 may be good for the music industry, it might break records, but it does not generate cash, it does not help Apple’s bottom line. And if you don’t think that’s all Apple cares about, you’ve never sat in on an earnings call, you’ve never been the victim of a Carl Icahn or Daniel Loeb attack.
3. No explanation.
We had a WWDC introduction, but no advertising campaign illustrating what Apple Music is and why we need it. To assume the public knows is to assume they’re aware you can synch tracks to the handset such that no cellular bandwidth costs are involved. Most of the public still doesn’t know what on demand streaming is. It’s dubious whether most of the PRESS knows what on demand streaming is. In the wake of the Apple Music launch, numerous publications have posited the question whether the public needs streaming music, each and every one of these has included Pandora as an option. Yes, you stream Pandora, but Pandora is like the school cafeteria whereas on demand streaming is like a grocery store. Everybody hates the cafeteria, you get limited choice at best and then endless repeats, whereas the supermarket lets you purchase whatever you want. Furthermore, in music, you don’t have to cook it! But you do have to find it.
4. No online tutorial.
You’re on your own, even though you’re paying. What is this, video games?
That’s right, video games come with no instructions, no manual, you’re supposed to figure it out by yourself. Many do, a lot don’t. Which is why video games have a wall around them, you’re either a gamer or you’re not. And profits have been hurt by the move to mobile gaming, which is not only cheaper, but usually less complicated. Apple Music is a maze you can’t get out of, that most people don’t want to get into!
5. Wrong target.
The scuttlebutt is whether Apple will beat Spotify. That’s like asking if the Brewers will beat the Rockies. Only the hardest core will care. So far the story is too inside baseball. Those not already paying attention won’t.
6. Steep learning curve.
If you can use all the elements of Apple Music, you work there.
7. Lack of functionality.
You can’t import Spotify playlists, even though Spotify allowed you to import your iTunes library upon launch. You’ve got to take a big tent approach, you’ve got to satiate the talkers.
Apple Music will win or lose on buzz.
Wait a second, as I established above, it can’t win, it’s gonna close everybody out of their free account after ninety days, what a disaster. But to the degree it wants traction it’s got to get everybody talking about Apple Music, the on demand streaming service, the one people pay for. Hell, the company can’t even leverage the artists! There’s no “I Want My Apple Music” campaign. And, Beats 1 is too cliquey, a club that not only most people feel left out of, but most acts. If you didn’t get an invitation to host a show are you really gonna talk up the service? Fans respond most to acts, but they’re beholden to their wallets.
So we’ve got a worldwide radio station, whoopee! As one online commentator wrote, isn’t that what internet radio is, haven’t we had that for eons? The only difference is we’re supposed to believe in Zane Lowe, and most people have never heard of the dude until just recently.
We live in a customizable world. Apple Music on demand streaming allows this. But it’s not so easy to use and the company is mum on how to use it.
Is this any way to run a business?