Apple showed off a new streaming-music service that will give users access to an inventory of songs for $9.99 a month, seeking to regain ground against upstarts that have lured listeners by offering unlimited access to music. Since it will debut for everyone on June 30 and while it’s still early days, it means that Spotify is confronted with fierce competition.
While Spotify is a commercial music streaming, podcast and video service that provides digital rights management-restricted content from record labels and media companies including BBC, Sony, EMI, Warner Music Group, and Universal, launched in October 2008 by Swedish startup Spotify AB.
Now let’s do some comparison between Apple Music and Spotify.
The Cost of Music
Spotify has a free tier that has some restrictions on listening — including the fact that it’s ad-supported, you can’t play on-demand on mobile, you don’t get unlimited skips, etc. The premium tier costs $9.99 per month, and features unlimited listening, no ads and offline streaming, among other features. Students can get premium for 50% off, as can families.
Apple Music costs $9.99 per month, with a family plan option for up to six members for $14.99 per month.
The Number of Songs
More than 30 million.
More than 30 million.
Spotify recently released a bevy of new features, including music for every mood and activity, a tool called Spotify Running that matches music to your jogging pace, and tons of video — from exclusives produced just for Spotify to content from ABC, Vice, TED and more.
Apple Music features a 24-hour radio station called Beats 1 — helmed by Zane Lowe — that will feature tunes, interviews and anything else a music fan could want. It also boasts Apple Music Connect, an as-yet-to-be-fully-explained feature that will connect fans and artists and furnish them with exclusive content like lyrics, backstage photos, videos and more.
As you can see, Apple Music is not that different from their competitors’ offerings. It seemed that the iconic music company has joined the discount fray. And it’s really no surprise — streaming is on the rise, while digital and physical sales are decidedly not.
So are digital downloads going the way of the cassette, as the giant in the game hasn’t beat them but joined them? And, perhaps more pertinently, can Apple compete in an already crowded marketplace? We’ll have to wait and see when Apple Music hits phones later this month.