Apple has the opportunity of a life time to refurbish their music streaming service and conquer the hill.
In the last decade we have witnessed a complete change in how we listen to music – whether it is through YouTube playlists, Spotify, Last.fm, or Jay-Z’s recently launched Tidal. Apple has the opportunity to learn from their mistakes, and take the key features from their competitors – satisfying our insatiable thirst for music.
It’s really hard to make a breakthrough in such a competitive environment, but we need someone to challenge the industry so we have better music streaming platforms – none of the current ones are perfect, or at least try to be perfect; they are flawed, they have pros and cons, but we know that something can be done about this.
In an era were everything seems to go digitally, music isn’t left behind. I, for one, am an avid music listener, and my taste in music is eclectic – I used to buy albums, and cherish my physical copies, but it’s way more cheaper in buying them from on-line stores, and I can rest assured I won’t lose my CD, or somehow break it.
Let’s take a look at what current music streaming services can offer us:
I have started with the reigning King. Google’s music streaming service is the best one out there, but their main priority is the Android user base. They will never publicly announce it, but if you have ever tried to use their service on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, you’ll clearly notice the differences. This may be a marketing strategy to shift iOS users towards them – about two months ago did Google finally release the iPad app, and it’s plastered with Google Material Design.
All in all, it’s a really great service and their features are incredible. The iPhone app runs smoothly, but it also sports the Android Material Design that doesn’t quite fit Apple’s iOS.
The key feature that makes me use Play Music is the ability to upload my very own collection to Google’s servers – a collection that I can access from everywhere in the world, using any device that supports the app, or a web browser. I have garnered a huge collection of b-sides, live material, and some rare tracks that I keep close to my heart. You know what the astonishing thing is? That no other music streaming service offers this capability at this quality. They have no real challenger in this fight, and it’s a shame.
For only $9.99 per month you’ll have the best music streaming service available – hopefully, not for long.
I used Spotify a lot, and when I say a lot, I mean it was the only music streaming service that I had a subscription to. But, unfortunately, I had to change it due to the fact that I have to travel constantly around the world, and Spotify isn’t available in most of the countries I go to. Although it has dedicated desktop apps for Windows, and Mac users, and excelent iOS and Android ones, I couldn’t take advantage of them because of their restrictions.
Spotify also offers exclusive live material from artists such as Ed Sheeran, Macklemore, and Passenger at no additional cost – some of you may be enticed to use it just for those exclusive live sessions, but the offer isn’t that great.
Spotify has a standard subscription of $10 a month, but with their family plan, you can add users with only a $5 added cost.
Jay-Z’s Tidal can be compared with that college kid that is late to the main party, but somehow manages to convince a lot of people to change venues and start an after-party.
It tried to use it, but it felt incredibly lackluster. For a service that deems itself as the only one offering high-fidelity, exclusive tracks, and albums, their roster is weak when you compare it to any music streaming service available. And even so, their iOS and Androids apps are buggy and they tend to freeze, or in worst case scenarios completely crash.
Is this a service to promote worldwide known commercial music? Because that’s how it feels – indie music, or let’s say underground, not so well-known music doesn’t receive any love, and that’s the breaking point for me.
Also, it’s incredibly expensive for what it has to offer – $19.99 per month is way too much for what I want to pay for a music streaming service. It doesn’t even have a standard subscription.
I don’t see a bright future for Jay-Z’s Tidal, even though it’s backed up by famous artists like Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, and Kanye West.
There you have it folks, or should I say Apple. It’s your chance to take every key feature, lose the cons and bring us a new competitive music streaming service.