Music Business

Apple’s Streaming Music Launch Plans: $9.99, $14.99 Tiers, Lots Of Exclusives

image from static4.businessinsider.comIt's shaping up to be the year the music industry put a premium on exclusive content. Jay Z is counting on them to build TIDAL; and now comes word that Apple is planning a similar strategy.  Or will a patchwork of exclusives just leave fans confused and disappointed?


Apple has been in talks with Taylor Swift, Florence and the Machine and dozen other major groups about providing exclusive tracks for a planned June launch of the company's first ever streaming music service, according to a new Bloomberg report. 

Despite rumors of a $7.99 monthly price, Apple's new music service will reportedly be priced at $9.99 per month with a $14.99 family tier.

Enough To Win?

So far, the rumor mill is revealing no real game changers.  So while, Apple has huge advantages in customer base, an integrated ecosystem and brand equity; Spotify, Deezer and several others still have first mover advantage, and the place that most millennials go for music is free.

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  1. Spotify curtailed innovation when they purchased The Echo Nest. Prior to the acquisition of The Echo Nest Spotify was an application platform. An open source, open API platform, quite innovative.
    The application platform disappeared at Spotify. Spotify’s user experience is not progressing.
    But since the acquisition of The Echo Nest which gave Spotify one of the best music software architect teams we don’t see the fruits of that acquisition in Spotify’s platform. Perhaps The EchoNest was assimilated to fortify Spotify’s infrastructure.
    It was a very exciting time when The Echo Nest was external to Spotify and contracted with other companies. Yes software music hackathons still take place but they don’t seem to have the same significance as they did when Spotify was more “open” with The Echo Nest.
    Spotify has the best developer support in cloud music. But Apple has a very rabid developer relationship as well. If Apple opens up iTunes to developers with an API etc. that is where I think Apple can effectively compete with Spotify. Gracenote will be stepping up as the metabase for iTunes Streaming (it was the metabase for Beats(MOG) and Apple iTunes)
    Like many others I am curious about what Trent Reznor and the iTunes team have in store for iTunes Streaming. It would be cool to see the new data type Bono hinted at last year being the “secret sauce” for Apple. Its unclear if Apple will publish what they pay artists for royalties but I’m thinking that government legislation will make that happen. This is how Apple can apply pressure to Spotify.
    Spotify has to respond to the challenges that TIDAL HiFi and Apple pose them. Its a safe bet Spotify will up their audio streaming level. Spotify will be in attendance at the Apple Developers conference this year with rapt attention I am sure.
    Gotta love competition.

  2. Windowing and exclusives; all good news for those who see no future in a streaming only business model.
    What does this all mean? Listeners aren’t going to pay for subscriptions to multiple services, yet they are going to want the music of specific artists that they follow closely. This will support the sale of downloads and CDs, at some level, and keep additional money coming into the biz.

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