Yesterday news filtered from the Financial Times about the plans of Apple with Beats, which our colleagues from Engadget echoed. According to this medium, which usually has good reputation in connection with the plans of Apple, the company would have thought incorporate Beats Music app on all iOS devices at the beginning of the coming year.
It would be one of the most important movements related to the company founded by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine since Apple acquired it. Many have been surprised with the news of the Financial Times since it was believed that purchase was motivated by the hardware business, not in vain a few days ago there were only 2 Wireless helmets.
But with the passing of the months, we have increasingly more tracks that Apple has ambitious plans for a music service in true streaming. Apple revolutionized the digital music with the iPod more than 10 years ago. Now It is obliged to do the same thing then with the slight difference that its competitors are more and better organized.
First step: fix the user experience
In general and in iTunes music sales in particular are months falling. Piracy also. Many point to music streaming services type Spotify, Pandora, Rdio and company as directly responsible. What has Apple done in this regard? iTunes Match? iTunes Radio?
Not you anymore you laughter, the first is a service that doesn’t make much sense as a massive solution in the current scene. The second It might be interesting if it were not only available in the US and Australia. Personally, I’ve been noticing a shortage in quantity and variety of my music library for years. I’ve tried to solve it by going to festivals and concerts whenever I can to learn about new bands. But it is not enough.
I have tried services like Spotify but abandoned them shortly after. I had to invest too much time to get recommendations from groups identical to those who like me. There is the problem, I don’t want to hear something similar. I want something new and to sound different, something that comes from groups and bands that never would have found on my own.
This is what an algorithm, by based on statistics and mathematical patterns, will never be able to give us.
Tim Cook on why Beats is different
User experience as the discovery of new music of truth is a disgusting. Something that mentions Tim Cook indirectly in his interview with Charlie Rose:
One day I was testing Beats and other similar services. Suddenly, I realized that listening to them I felt completely different. And the reason is that they recognized that the human healing was important in the subscription service. The sequence of songs you hear affects how you feel.
I.e., Beats has a series of human supervisors who know what song goes after one or what more can you like. I have not tried the service, but it sounds really promising. Spotify and competitors rely too much on the algorithmic aspect, but that doesn’t mean that they know which song is which will affect how we feel.
We have noticed that the music is much more than digital files: breathes, bleeds, and feel. To do this, you need more than just a base plate. Because the code cannot understand the influence of Bowie in a band, you don’t know why the Stones go very well with Aretha Franklin. Because if we are to a track distance of our complete satisfaction, you need more than just software to deliver it.
Fix poor user experiences is the specialty of Apple. With Dr. Dre and Iovine, an artist and a sound engineer in the music business can they succeed.
Second step: create the business model
Innovation in a product or service is cool. Do it with your business model is less glamorous but It is equally or more important than the product itself. When Apple introduced the iPod did not as a simple MP3 player for a few months introduced the iTunes music store. With the iPhone followed the same pattern: presentation of the first product, its model of business a year later with the App Store.
We must think in the business model beyond how come from revenues. It’s how value is delivered to the customer. After the new U2 album “gift” to the users of iTunes, Bono announced that they are still working with Apple:
We are working with Apple on things pretty cool for the next two years.
To find the suitable for the music business model It is something that no one has done yet. Business of streaming like Spotify need a gigantic scale to be profitable (40 million according to the company). A scale that in principle is more hand Apple than any other company, as it has more than 885 millions of accounts of iTunes, 200 million of them who buy music regularly.
Thanks to reader Macnaxito for having given some ideas in this post.