It is over 12 years since a certain Mr Jobs convinced music labels to sign up to the iTunes Store, kick-starting the industry’s digital revolution whilst beginning the transformation of Apple into far more than just a computer firm. In recent years, however, Apple has looked on while others – more notably Spotify – took digital music in a new direction.
Apple does seem to be catching up, following last year’s acquisitions of Dr Dre’s Beats, but as the new music service was unveiled, not everyone was convinced on social media. Smaller record labels are also unhappy, so much so that some big-name artists may be unavailable when the company’s new subscription music service launches on June 30th. With access to the first global 24/7 radio station, a new platform for artists to share content and a streaming service, Apple Music seems a little over-complicated compared to Spotify’s offering. However, with a ‘mere’ 15 million paying subscribers, Spotify may struggle to hold onto the number one streaming spot as Apple taps into its 800 million strong iTunes user war chest.
On an interesting note: the iPod was not the first MP3 player, the iPhone was not the first smartphone and Microsoft unveiled a tablet PC nearly a decade before the iPad was released. Some would say that Apple are copycats whilst others would argue that they perfect designs and provide consumers with what they really want.