Music Industry

Apple Had an Event Yesterday. There Was No Mention of Any Streaming Music Service. Here’s Why.

New Macbooks, new software and the Apple Watch (this is a great infographic about that)–but no mention of relaunching Beats, probably because they’ve yet to work everything out–including pricing.

Apple wants to charge $7.99 a month for a subscription, undercutting their competitors by about two bucks. The record labels–remembering how they were strong-armed into letting Apple charge 99 cents per song when iTunes was launched–want none of that. They want the floor price to be $9.99 a month.

Apple is countering this way: “Look, let us charge $7.99 and we’ll eliminate any ‘free’ tier. You want in? You gotta pay. That’s a way better deal for everyone.” And while it’s true that the labels aren’t so keen on ad-supported unlimited free streaming anymore, they remain unconvinced by Apple’s argument.

One report says that Apple has backed down from their pricing strategy as the labels hold firm on that magic $9.99 number. However, everyone should keep in mind that the average music consumer–heavy on the word “average” because there are hundreds of millions of them–spend less than $100 a year on music purchases, including concert tickets. Convincing these folks to buy a $10/month music streaming subscription–$120/year–may be a tough proposition.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37908 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “Apple Had an Event Yesterday. There Was No Mention of Any Streaming Music Service. Here’s Why.

  • The Apple advantage there may be the experience. Also, Apple users are statistically more likely to pay for their media (software, fonts, Music). So there’s that as well.


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