Wait, wait *looks at Spotify account*. I’m not ready to say goodbye just yet. I mean, the college discount for $5 a month. Spotify, we have a good thing going. I swear it’s not you – but there’s someone else. Perhaps on June 30th, I might be leaving and I’ll send for my things. Sometimes you have to leave the familiar for something greater, I guess. Maybe it’s the familiarity, maybe it’s that new car smell, but as we all thought, Apple has joined the streaming music throw down with their own service. Let’s take a look at what’s new…actually let’s take a look at the competition first.
AND OUR CHALLENGERS: Tidal, remember Tidal? Yes, that streaming service that had that infamous announcement where a band of heroes put their powers together to save New York from Ultro…whoops, that was The Avengers. The $20 price point for what the service was made for was not exactly appealing. There just isn’t enough affordable technology or data plans to really hear the difference in sound quality. Also, there were a lack of real viable exclusives to keep the service viable in the dog fight (Jay-Z rarity concert aside). Plus there is a lot of instability at the top. Since the re-branding to Tidal, the company has had two CEOs exit. Without a new strategy, might be going the way of the tape cassette soon. Psstt..if you read the fine print, Tidal actually does a lot of what musicians want like higher royalties and control of their music. Unfortunately, the message was as messed up as the last two “Saw” movies you’ve seen.
Spotify is the loyal girlfriend that has been with you through thick and thin. 20 million songs. High and lows, unclean dishes and Netflix dates. Literally all the music in the world at your disposal and offline playlists. Nice right? Additionally, there will be video content and you can find music that meets your mood. Need a “crappy I have to go back to work on Monday mix”? Spotify curates those now. Not to mention that video is finally coming to the service as well. That’s creating a wealth of opportunities.
For some weird reason Apple, every time I think I’m going to leave, I come right back in. It’s the convenience factor. For starters, the application is built right into the music application. The same offline application is available here. Zane Lowe who is well known for his BBC 1 radio show and THAT interview with Kanye West (plus other awesome interviews) with not only be bringing that to the service, but letting artists curate their own material. I mean, what more could you possibly want right?
..And now the bad news. Gotcha right? The streaming war is creating a culture of competition what hurts the main piece in this cog…the consumer. I have to go on a scavenger hunt to find a particular artist’s song. Where the hell is that Jay-Z song? I can stream all three services at once. My data plan would be my cable bill. Hell, I might have to have all three streaming services to get the most out of these exclusives. Is that particularly right or is that driving people to piracy? Only time will tell. Apple music, you have the juice now. My only hope is that we even the playing field where the artists and fans win.