Why Apple Music Will Win in the End

Apple Music has received a lot of stick since its launch, mostly over its bad UI–and deservedly so. I and others have the feeling that Steve Jobs would have never let something this unintuitive get released. But unlike Spotify, Radio, Slacker and its rivals, Apple Music isn’t an all-or-nothing venture. This, says Wired, is why Apple Music will win in the end. (Via Andrew)

WHEN APPLE MUSIC launched at the end of June, some experts in the streaming music industry insisted that the world’s most valuable company wouldn’t win over listeners just because it was Apple. Spotify had already built up a sizable subscriber base, they said. As for Internet radio, Pandora and iHeartRadio had a serious head start.

About four months later, Apple hasn’t pulled out ahead. But it’s gaining. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently revealed that as the first Apple Music users come off their free three-month trial, the service now boasts more than 6.5 million subscribers who pay at least $10 a month to stream music. That’s still only a fraction of Spotify’s 20 million paying users. But it’s not a bad start.

And more to the point, Apple isn’t in a hurry. With a huge pile of cash and massive profits, Apple is under little pressure to show quick returns. As it turns out, the same advantages that give Apple so much power overall—its size, its resources, its visibility—give the company a serious edge in streaming music. Apple doesn’t have to win right away—which is why ultimately it will win.

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ 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.

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