Yesterday, Apple released a new commercial for their redesigned Apple Music as part of iOS 10. Unlike their previous Apple Music advertisements, it does not feature a famous person (like James Corden), but it does walkthrough many of the new features of the app.
The commercial starts with first looking at the features of the Music app that does not require an Apple Music subscription. Artists are laid out similar to the friends in the Contacts app with the exception of added pictures and albums are also laid out like albums in the Photos app. This is design is the same whether you pay for Apple Music or you do not.
On Thursday, Apple released another commercial with Taylor Swift showing off a feature of Apple Music. This ad, which shows Swift dancing to “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” by The Darkness, shows recommended playlist feature. In the ‘For You’ tab, songs, playlists, and albums are recommended to you based on what you like to listen to. Since Swift is a rocker, as we have seen with her other commercials and most recent album, the playlist ‘Friday Night Rocks!’ was suggested.
Check out the new Apple Music commercial below:
In addition, Apple recently introduced a new tier for Apple Music pricing. Currently there is $9.99/month for individuals and $14.99/month for families. Now college students can get Apple Music for 50% off while actively enrolled at a college or university. To sign up for the discount, click here.
With Apple Music and a rumored streaming Internet TV service coming next year, Apple is working their way into on-demand entertainment. Music and TV channels will be available at any time of day whenever we want, but what else is there for Apple? What else do we want on-demand? Movies. Specifically new movies. Using this inspiration, we created a concept called Apple Entertainment that allows subscribers to access movies, music and TV on-demand.
Apple Entertainment is a revolutionary system that incorporates three entertainment services into one. It takes Apple Music, Apple’s rumored Internet TV streaming service and a new idea called Apple Movies and packages them all together for a set monthly price.
The first component, Apple Music, was introduced at the Worldwide Developer’s Conference in June and it allows subscribers to stream any song at any time, on-demand. It also includes curated radio stations, like Beats 1, and a platform for artists to connect with their fans. Subscribers can access all this content for a set monthly price of $9.99 for individuals and $14.99 for families. It’s a whole new system of music that directly competes with Spotify, Rdio and other similar services.
The second component of Apple Entertainment is Apple’s rumored Internet TV streaming service. It was expected to be announced in June, then this was pushed back to September and now the release is sometime in 2016. The Wall Street Journal reported that the service would start at twenty-five channels anchored by major networks like CBS and Fox. The channels would be live and Apple would be competing directly with Sling TV. The rumored price is around $30 to $40 per month.
The final component is Apple Movies, which hasn’t been really rumored or announced yet, but we feel that it is the next step for Apple. This would allow subscribers to access movies on-demand, like Netflix and Hulu. As of earlier this year, the iTunes Store had 50,000 movies available for rental and purchase. If Apple could offer these movies on-demand for a monthly fee instead of paying per rental, it would be huge. Understandably the newer movies would probably not be able to be streamed immediately after release, at least for now, but Apple could offer movies ahead of Netflix. We predict a monthly charge for this service of $9.99 or $14.99, similar to Apple Music. In addition, Apple is reportedly going to be making their own movies and TV shows, similar to what Netflix does now so this could be further evidence that Apple is working on on-demand movies and TV.
Apple Entertainment would take each of these services (music, TV and movies) and put them together for a set price of $60 to $70 per month. Since Apple doesn’t believe in bundling and saving money, like when they offered AppleCare+ for the Apple Watch and iPhone together and literally made it the price of the one plus the other (no discount), we see Apple doing something similar here. The minimum price would be $60 (assuming $40/month for the TV subscription) for one user and $70 for two or more up to six. Subscribers can view music, radio, TV shows, live TV channels, movies and more on-demand. Apple would take over the living room in terms of entertainment and after seeing the new Apple TV, we could very well be seeing this in the next few years.
Last week, it was discovered that artists who allow their music to be played on Apple Music will not receive any royalties during the three-month free trial period for users. Many artists have come out to say they will not will be participating with Apple Music because of this reason. Taylor Swift wrote a note on her Tumblr blog to Apple explaining that their no-royalty policy can be detrimental to indie artists who work paycheck-to-paycheck until they become popular.
After this note came out, a controversy started and Apple was in the spotlight for not paying artists for the right to use their music during the free trial. Eddy Cue, an Apple executive, responded to Taylor Swift’s note on Twitter saying that they have reconsidered the no-royalty plan and have decided that “Apple Music will pay artist for streaming even during customer’s free trial period.” It is good to hear that Apple has decided to pay artists, but they didn’t specify as to how much they will pay out.
An article in the Wall Street Journal reported Apple has yet to disclose the royalty rate they will be paying out during the free trial period, only mentioning that Apple will raise it once the trial ends. The normal rate is 71.5%, which is higher than industry leaders like Spotify, but this probably will not be the rate that is paid out during the free trial. The WSJ theorized that Apple could mirror Spotify’s promotional rate of half their normal rate, which would be 35.75% for Apple.
Whatever Apple decides to do, they need to make sure they don’t come in with lowball offer or else this will turn into a PR nightmare.
At the Worldwide Developer’s Conference keynote next week, Apple is expected to reveal the new music streaming service called “Apple Music” which will be a direct competition to Spotify and Rdio. There will be three main components to this service: unlimited streaming, iTunes Radio with the new Music app and Artist Activity.
Unlimited streaming, which is the first component of the new Apple Music, will allow users to listen to whatever music they want whenever they want, much like Spotify. Apple will also be matching Spotify’s monthly price of $10 and offer augmented Internet radio DJ’s. Apple will likely announce a trial period of between one to three months for users to test out the service. Many customers who have previously bought new music online have instead started to stream the same songs for a monthly subscription price. I have caught myself doing the same thing: when a new album comes out, I’ll stream it on Spotify and solely listen to it on there unless I know I need to buy the song then I go to iTunes to download it. Apple has noticed this trend so they are going to be offering unlimited streaming of music available on the iTunes Store at a price. They are preparing to cannibalize sales from the iTunes Store in favor of their new Apple Music subscription service. Why buy a $10 album that will get old after a month when you can stream the album (and many others) for $10/month?
iTunes Radio with redesigned Music app
The second component will be the completely redesigned Music app and new iTunes Radio. The app, which is currently being tested by developers and public beta testers, will debut in late June as the iOS 8.4 update. The Music app has an all-new design and is organized into three tabs: My Music, Playlists and iTunes Radio. The music in the “My Music” tab are all your songs and albums that you own, including those stored on your device and in the cloud. The second tab, “Playlists”, shows your recently added playlists on top, your Smart Playlists, like Top 25 and My Top Rated next, then your other playlists are in alphabetical order on the bottom. The final tab, “Radio”, is for the iTunes Radio. Each of these tabs have new features as well, like the Miniplayer and gestures to change tabs.
Apple’s iTunes Radio is also receiving some updates as a part of Apple Music. The new radio streaming service will have custom DJ stations run by celebrities like Dr. Dre, Pharrell Williams and Drake, and there will be more Pandora-like stations. For example, I have a station on Pandora called “Classical for Studying Radio”, which plays pop songs with a Classical touch. Searching for something similar on iTunes Radio is a nightmare since several stations come up and it’s difficult to find the right one. Listeners who have a paid subscription will be able to skip an unlimited number of times and play ad-free music, while those without a subscription will have a limited number of skips and have to listen to ads, like how the service is now.
The last component of the new Apple Music is Artist Activity. This feature creates a page for artists to share their content, favorite music of other artists, share exclusive videos and show off their tour dates. Followers will use their iTunes account names to “like” and comment on posts by artists.
The new Apple Music service will be available to iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV and Android users.