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Sony Music CEO explains how Apple Music can compete with Spotify

Published Jun 8th, 2015 11:40AM EDT
Apple Music Vs Spotify
Image: Screenshot | Beats Music

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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.

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During an interview which was originally noticed by VentureBeat, Morris explained:

What does Apple bring to this? Well, they’ve got $178 billion dollars in the bank. And they have 800 million credit cards in iTunes. Spotify has never really advertised because it’s never been profitable. My guess is that Apple will promote this like crazy and I think that will have a halo effect on the streaming business.

A rising tide will lift all boats. It’s the beginning of an amazing moment for our industry.

There are two quick things to note here.

First, it’s reassuring to see a top tier music executive embrace a relatively new business model with open arms. Historically, the music industry has been incredibly resistant to change, often to its own detriment.

Second, the effect that Apple’s advertising dollars will have on the Apple Music rollout is an insightful point. Spotify is undeniably an amazing service with an incredibly passionate fan base. So with Apple effectively playing catch-up here, their massive bank account can help them alert the masses to Apple Music’s existence.

Remember how iconic and memorable those old iTunes/iPod ads were back in the mid-2000s? Apple Music provides the perfect platform for the company to roll out some really awesome music-oriented ads on a massive scale. And with the pool of iOS users already in the 400+ million range, all Apple’s commercials would have to do is give users a little figurative tap on the shoulder to alert them that they can give Apple Music a spin right away, directly from their iPhone or iPad.

Apple Music, of course, will require iOS 9, but that shouldn’t present much of a hurdle for consumer adoption. Consider these three points: One, the uptake to new iterations of iOS has always been extremely high. Two, rumor has it that iOS 9 will run much more smoothly on legacy iOS devices than any previous version of iOS to date. Three, there have also been rumblings that the download size of iOS 9 will be much more storage-friendly than the gargantuan download that was iOS 8.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.