news category created 9 June 2015 written by shona wright
A Game of Streaming
Apple’s new streaming service Apple Music was announced yesterday to much fanfare at their 2015 Worldwide Developers Conference. Apple will be offering a 3 month free trial and already have 800 million users credit card details. I personally think Tidal will struggle to gain a foothold against the established market leader Spotify, and newcomer Apple Music. This leaves Tidal looking a bit washed out and they could end up dead in the water.
Who do you think will prevail in A Game of Streaming?
From what I have understand Apple’s Music Connect is more than audio alone. Artists and record companies can offer different media to the audience. This could be a thread for Youtube as well. Taking in account that a family account (up to 6 members) will cost about 15 USD, it is well possible that the younger generation will move to Apple Music. The might even want to pay for special content.
btw I hope that Apple will offer high quality streaming. I am now on Tidal and the difference in sound quality with Spotify is quite obvious.
TIDAL is a fairly specialised service for people who value higher-quality streamed audio. That is by no means everyone. Thus the question becomes whether or not Apple Music will offer high-quality audio, ideally using something like Meridian Audio’s MQA (as TIDAL are planning) – simply offering high sample rates is not enough of a differentiator. If they do, then we can say goodbye to most if not all the competition, as there will be little room for specialist high-quality streaming providers if the biggest provider of all is offering a master-quality service (MQA stands for Master Quality Authenticated and delivers exactly that) – with a proviso that Apple may not cater satisfactorily enough to the classical or specialised listener.
If Apple Music offers only average-quality streaming then I don’t think TIDAL or other hi-def audio streaming services need to worry: they’ll have their own market, such as it is or might be. Spotify, on the other hand…
As with the rest of the Internet content and accessibility are king. I tried Tidal, but while the quality might be better, it only had half of the music I liked and seemed really clunky to use (the mac app was awful and looked like it was coded in 1999). So my money is on Apple, who already have access to a majority of music content, devices and consumer credit cards and are known for making stuff really easy to use.
Having said that, I think it is better having more than one distributor so there is competition, and looking at this, it seems like Spotify is actually a much better choice from the music creator’s perspective:
I think Stevan has summed it up. The masses want ‘content and accessibility’. They want ‘ease’ above everything else. So whether I like it or not, I think Apple will hold the crown.