Apple two weeks ago was forced to defend its nascent Apple Music service following a report which claimed that 48% of users who signed up for the streaming service were no longer using it. Offering a rebuttal, Apple subsequently said that only 21% of the millions of subscribers who signed up for a three-month trial had left the fold. More →
In the wake of Taylor Swift convincing Apple to dole out royalty payments during Apple Music’s three-month trial period, Apple has been quick to leverage the accompanying good will and sign crucial deals with two massive music rights organizations, Beggars Group and Merlin Network.
According to Billboard, Merlin alone represents over 20,000 labels and distributors across the globe. Together, both groups oversee members who own the musical rights to a vast number of big name artists, including Adele, Vampire Weekend, Arcade Fire, Neko Case, The Strokes, Social Distortion, The National, Tom Waits, Spoon, Grizzly Bear, DJ Khaled, and Martin Solveig & Dragonette.
Taylor Swift over the weekend penned a brutal critique of Apple Music, calling the upcoming streaming service’s free three-month trial period both shocking and disappointing.
In an open letter posted to Tumblr, Swift took umbrage with the fact that Apple, during the aforementioned trial period, will not be making any royalty payments to music owners. This has of course rubbed many artists the wrong way as they’ll effectively be giving their music away for free for three months.
In an effort to get as many people as possible signed up for Apple Music, Apple will be giving users a free three-month trial period when the service launches on June 30. During this three-month window, Apple will not be handing over any royalty payments to music labels; and in exchange for this generous grace period, Apple has agreed to pay labels a royalty rate that’s a tad higher than the industry norm once the trial period closes.
We all have favorite songs that we humming all day long, and some people go ahead and sing them in front of an actual audience rather than enjoying the privacy of a shower. That’s exactly what one teenager did in a shopping mall during a singing-based fund-raiser of sorts. But little did she know that the artist who actually sings the song she chose would happen to walk by and jump on stage unannounced to help her. More →
Following yesterday’s WWDC event, Apple confirmed to Re/Code that it’s upcoming Apple Music service will let users download songs and videos for offline listening and viewing.
Though not an entirely new or revolutionary feature, it does help Apple Music reach feature parity with Spotify as the company hopes to make an immediate and impactful dent in the music streaming market.
Over the weekend, Sony Music CEO Doug Morris effectively confirmed that Apple later today will finally take the wraps off of Apple Music, the company’s own on-demand streaming music service.
While the impending launch of Apple Music is hardly breaking news in and of itself, Morris did articulate why he thinks Apple Music is poised to succeed, even in the face of strong competition from the likes of Spotify. Though Spotify currently boasts over 60 million active users, Morris believes Apple can make up a lot of ground quickly because they’ll actually be able to advertise.
One of the business tenets that has led to Apple’s incredible success is that the company isn’t afraid to cannibalize its own products. If anything, Apple tends to embrace such scenarios, with Tim Cook once explaining that Apple views “cannibalization as a huge opportunity.”
“Our core philosophy is to never fear cannibalization,” Cook said during an earnings conference call two years ago. “If we don’t do it, someone else will. We know that iPhone has cannibalized some of our iPod business. That doesn’t worry us.”
With that said, one can only hope that Apple will take steps to actively cannibalize its own iTunes business. If they don’t, some other company will, and it may happen sooner than anyone thinks.
An intriguing rumor from the music industry publication HITS Daily Double claims that the release date for Kanye West’s upcoming album, titled Swish, might be timed to coincide in some way with the upcoming launch of Apple Music. If this is indeed the case, it stands to reason that Kanye’s new album may very well be an Apple Music exclusive at launch.
“Kanye West is making changes, distancing himself from Tidal, firing Roc Nation and managing himself, with an unofficial assist from the Jenner-Kardashian clan,” the report claims. “As for Kanye’s long-delayed album, there’s some chatter that the release will be connected to Apple Music’s launch.”
Rdio’s plan to compete with Apple and Spotify: The cheapest music subscription service we’ve seen yet
Dubbed Rdio Select, the new music streaming service will offer subscribers three main options. One will be a Pandora style music recommendation service, albeit without any pesky ads. Two, Rdio Select will allow users listen to any 25 songs of their choosing on-demand. And third, Rdio Select will offer users curated playlists from artists like Mumford & Sons along with “tastemakers like NPR Music and Rolling Stone.” To top it all off, Rdio notes that its songs come in higher 320 kbps quality.
Even though we don’t need more proof that music streaming is the wave of the future, recent comments made by Warner Music Group CEO Stephen Cooper really underscore just how fast the transition from digital downloads to music streaming is happening.
During an earnings conference call on Monday, Cooper said that Warner Music, the third largest recording company on the planet, generated more money from streaming than they did from digital downloads. That’s no small feat, and as Re/Code notes, this “is the first time a big music label has hit that milestone.”
Are you tired of hearing the same song in your head when you should be doing something else? Apparently, there’s a remedy for your problem that’s easier and cheaper than you’d expect. And no, it’s not a drug you’d need a prescription for. More →