Apple Music - Should Spotify users care?

June 19, 2015

Apple Music's launch at WWDC 2015 was the hot topic in the music scene last week. Should you care? Well, if you love music and Spotify is your cup of tea, damn right you should.

What's So Special?
Much has already been said online on what Apple Music is about. Let's summarize all that:

1. A streaming music platform. 
From the makers of iTunes, it's not their first venture into cloud music (think iTunes Match) but this long overdue (and awaited) service is likely to cause a certain Swedish company a few sleepless nights.

2. 30 million songs. 
Their iTunes legacy can continue with a massive database. Taylor Swift? From WWDC, that looked like a yes, but just today, it appears that she is saying no to the release of her current 1989 album on Apple Music. 

3. Audio Quality

256kbps AAC. It's different from the 320kbps MP3 being offered by Spotify Premium but in terms of audio quality, it's best to give a blind test to both the AAC and the MP3 formats to see if there's a significant difference.

4. Apple Music Connect
Artists can share info on their material through lyrics, backstage photos. Fans can comment and if the artists find it worth their while, they can reply you too. In a nutshell, another potential social media platform.

USD 9.99 for single membership. 
USD 14.99 for family membership (up to six members). This is big advantage over Spotify. This translates to support for 5 more pax at just USD 5 more.

On 30 June in 100 countries. From then, users get a free 3 month trial after which membership fees apply.

The platforms initially supported are iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and PC.

Come Fall (Sep - Oct range), Apple TV and Android phones will be supported.

Apple Music vs Spotify comparison

What's the impact if I'm a:

- Spotify (Free) user 
You are streaming at up to 160kbps MP3 music. There is not much reason to switch to Apple Music as you get somewhat limited features. 
For example, you get access to:
1. Beats 1 Radio station and Apple Music radio stations. 
2. Connect feature.

- Spotify (Premium) user 
Will you only use one account? Not much impact. Will there be more people you know using the service? Yes? Then Apple Music's Family Membership will look mighty enticing, but let's see if Spotify will match or better Apple's offer.

You are already running 320kbps MP3 music so you may want to assess how different Apple Music's default 256kbps AAC music will be like.

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