What Music Fans And The Music Industry Can Expect From Today’s Apple Event
Apple is set to announce the new iPhone 7 today along with a new version of the Apple Watch and changes to its Mac Book line. But what can the music industry expect from today's announcements? Here are some well informed predictions.
What can music lovers and the music industry expect from today's Apple announcements?
More Automated Music Discovery
Beta testers are already seeing some of the promised features to help find new gems in Apple Music's ever growing 35 million track catalog. But instead of calling it the previously announced name "Discovery Mix,"Apple is using the categories My New Music Mix” and “My Favorites Mix” instead. The shift is likely to differentiate itself from the features it copied from Spotify. its popular Discover Weekly playlist and its new Release Radar playlist.
This adoption of data driven music choice is a real shift from the longstanding Beats/Apple pledge to put human curation first.
No Headphone Jack
Whatever form this change takes – using its proprietary Lightening port for headphones or wireless bluetooth – Apple appears to be dumping its analog headphone jack. The reason for the drastic shift may go beyond design, suggests Harrison Speck of the Future Of Music Coalition. "Anyone can manufacture headphones that use an analog jack, but a manufacturer must become MFI, or “Made for iPhone/iPad,” certified to make headphones using the lightning connector," writes Speck. "Apple sets manufacturing standards and collects royalties on products with MFI certification…. So would removing the headphone jack really garner Apple much money? How big is the headphone industry, anyway? One report says it’s expected to surpass $13 billion by the end of the year, so roughly the same size as the recorded music business."
And don't forget, Apple did buy the Beats headphone brand last year.
A Lower Price For Apple Music
This prediction is the most speculative, but is based on some recent moves by Apple and others. Yesterday, Apple began offering $99 gift cards for an annual subscription to Apple Music that normally cost $120. Plus, Amazon and Pandora are both openly working to launchin lower that $9.99 per month options.