As a brand, Apple has often been at the forefront of new technology and innovation. But now they are playing catch up in the world of streaming music. However, if the brand shows the same aptitude as they have in previous opportunities, they still have a chance to succeed and potentially become #1 in the category.
With a value of approximately $750 billion, you’d think that Apple would have everything that they ever dreamed of.
The brand already boasts a large and dedicated brand community, a rumoured $200 billion cash on hand, and the industry standard in music downloading. But it wasn’t enough, and that’s why we now have Apple Music.
On Tuesday, June 30, Apple Launched their brand new streaming service to 100 countries all over the world. The move puts them in direct competition with brands like Spotify who offer free and premium versions of their own music streaming service, and Jay-Z’s recently launched (and flailing) TIDAL.
Apple Music is currently offering a three month free trial period, with a $9.99 single user fee, and $14.99 family (up to six users) fee kicking in after the trial. Spotify also comes with a $9.99 single user fee, but their $14.99 only covers 2 users, with additional users adding $5 to the bill.
Competitive pricing, plus a dedicated brand community is a great start for the new service. But there’s more.
Note: Apple also made a change that many users have been clamouring for since the release of iTunes 12.01 in October 2014. Gone is the red icon that replaced the familiar blue. The new icon that comes with the download of iTunes version 12.2 is white with a multi-coloured (blues, purples, pinks, peaches) ring and music note.
Yes, it seems like a small change, but the red icon really ruffled some feathers last fall. We had over 2,100 votes in our reaction poll, with 95% of respondants telling us that they hated the red icon. Hopefully they’re happy now.
Read: New iTunes Icon Has Users Seeing Red
Notable artists like Taylor Swift and Florence + the Machine have opened their catalogue up to Apple Music but have said no to Spotify and other services. And Pharrell launched his new single, “Freedom” exclusively to Apple Music subscribers.
That kind of access to musicians, with large fan bases of their own, will also lead to more signups for the new service.
Apple won’t know if this new offering is a success until the dust settles and they can see how many subscribers remain after the free trial period. After that, it will be a continuous mission to bring in new customers with more exclusive content, pricing that stays competitive, and dedication to the Apple brand qualities that have built their current brand community.