Remember when?

Remember when?

It’s not just deja vu. You’ve seen this stuff before. The basic ingredients of Apple Music are all repackaged, refined, or integrated from existing ideas.

It’s Beats Music meets BBC Radio 1 meets Apple Ping, in an iOS and Android app.

What you haven’t seen is all of those ingredients in one place, working together. And that’s not a trivial matter – it might change nothing, but it could change everything.

So, one by one, here what’s feeling like a trip down memory lane:

1. Streaming – Beats Music is back as Apple Music’s core streaming service. That includes Beats’ clever recommendation tools (like its pretty genre select), though seemingly cross-bred with the recommendation engine in iTunes.

2 Radio – BBC Radio 1 gets cloned, sort of as Radio 1 disk jockey Zane Lowe takes on Beats One, a Beats-organized, Apple-branded, 24/7 international radio station. Oddly, Apple claims this is the first such station – isn’t any Internet radio station “global”?

3. A social network – Apple Ping is back from the dead as Connect. (Zach Holman on Twitter was obviously thinking what I was thinking.)

But before you scoff, Ping is looking ahead of its time – launched in 2010, killed in 2012, it was too early to really take advantage of mobile apps. Here, instead of integrating with desktop iTunes (dumb), Apple integrates with mobile apps on iOS and Android (ah hah). There was lip service paid to “bedroom producers” early in the WWDC segment, so I’m guessing we’ll all get access to it. If that’s the case, here are two safe bets: 1. you’ll probably play with it, and 2. it probably won’t reduce any of the work you’re doing managing social media on Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp, VK, Pinterest, and who knows what else. Maybe you’ll find some free time to actually make music beyond “sharing with your fans”; let’s see. On the other hand, while I’m complaining, I’m not complaining: this stuff can wind up being really powerful, and for that reason, I have to admit I do hope Connect is a success.

Updated: yep, you’ll have access to it.

4. Music videos. Yes, Tidal was making a deal of this. And there’s the elephant in the room – YouTube (to say nothing of everywhere else artists can share videos). But now it’s on Apple’s platform, too. Curiously, note that “ad-free” is a pitch. So there’s actually an incentive to put videos on YouTube (where you can add ads, and you have a huge audience), and not on Apple Music (where you don’t).

applemusic

All in favor.

Convincing stuff in this presentation: putting things under one app, and putting Apple’s logo on it, is huge. So you’ve seen each of these ingredients before, but Apple has a point when they say they’ve got one ecosystem. They’re on iOS, Mac, and now apparently Android, too. That gives them a huge chunk of the mobile market. (Yet to be seen: will Apple make mediocre Android apps the way that they made a mediocre iTunes for Windows.)

I don’t think that integration is to be underestimated. A lot of us do rely heavily on iTunes; a lot of artists do see a lot of revenue from iTunes. So this could be a good deal.

All against.

Now the reasons to be critical or skeptical – and there are plenty.

From a user side, the problem is that while this offers everything you’ve already got and want in an integrated interface, you’ve already got all of it. You can stream music, not only on Spotify but other services (legal and illegal). If you’re the sort of person who likes radio, you can listen to radio – including BBC Radio 1. You can find videos on YouTube, and artists sharing on Facebook. Sure, Apple can say this stuff is “fragmented,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean people will drop all of those things just because a single app might or might not replace it.

From the artist side, there’s very little explanation of why you shouldn’t hate this. Trent Reznor and Drake seem to think it’s a good idea, but apart from that, we have only questions. What’s the artist split on streaming? How can Apple give streaming to 6 users instead of 1 and still make enough revenue? Given that artists are already complaining they don’t make enough money from streaming, why should this be different? What sort of access will artists have to Connect? Will they be able to see any data on who’s listening to their music, or interacting with any of the social feeds? Why wouldn’t Apple Music streaming simply destroy sales of downloads?

Here’s one intriguing matter. Apple did talk about indie artists – and payouts to indie artists. Is it possible they thought the way this editorial did, and calculated more fairly for individuals? We’ll find out.

Grab the popcorn.

There may be answers to these questions, but not yet. And sure, the service has been out for only a few minutes, except we’ve been asking these questions about similar tools from a variety of vendors for years.

And so that’s really the only question we need to ask. Why will this time be different than the last – with any of this?

I’ll say this: I at least think it’s an interesting question.

  • SomeDude

    Connect looks pretty nice, i think it could work , and from what i understand , all artists will have access to it. So that’s good
    But yeah, the REAL question is : what is the pay going to be from the streaming service ? If it’s the same peanuts we get from Spotify , i don’t think it will get much love from labels/artists. And if the payements really suck , can we opt out from the streaming service ?

    • Yeah, agreed, and there was very little said about this.

      • SomeDude

        I just found a new page on Apple website on how to use Connect for artists, and I like what I’ve read so far. But no info whatsoever on the streaming side.

        here’s the link : http://www.apple.com/itunes/working-itunes/connect/

        • SomeDude

          More info: So, i tried to claim my artist profile ( they ask you for your Apple ID, then the name of the artist ), and now it’s asking me to enter either the name of my manager ( uh..it’s me), and/or the name of my record company ( uh… none, i use Tunecore.) . Not sure what to do .. Anyone else tried ?

          • TuneCore may actually be your record company name there… yeah, interesting question. I’m looking at the same.

          • I tried. Now pending: one that’s me as solo artist (was through Tunecore, which is doubly interesting as I haven’t paid my dues lately!) … one through a label.

            I’ll let you know what happens.

            It looks to me like you can just list yourself as artist and label contact. But you can’t leave those forms blank.

          • elia

            same as @Peter Kirn:disqus. i’ve just claim my artist profile but it seems you need at least one album released on itunes. anyway i’m pending and just curious..

        • Thanks for this! Much appreciated!

    • foljs

      Spotify payments are only peanuts if you’re not popular. In which case they are peanuts everywhere.

      Compared to radio for example, Spotify pays 4 or more times as much per “listen”.

      • ElectroB

        “Portishead made just £1,700 from 34 million online streams”
        http://www.gigwise.com/news/99702/portishead-geoff-barrow-got-few-earnings-from-spotify-online-streams

        Spotify and streaming service payments are only peanuts if:

        1) you’re not popular and

        2) if you don’t have access to some shady backstage deal between your label and the ex-pirates-turned-media-moguls that run this business.

        Also, I would like to point out that while 100 streams is peanuts indeed, 100 legally downloaded tracks at 50 cents are also peanuts — only they’re much bigger peanuts. Just saying.

        As for Apple’s new service, we’ll see what happens, but I’m guessing that artist revenues will be “distributed” in much the same way that Youtube and Spotify do.

  • SomeDude

    Connect looks pretty nice, i think it could work , and from what i understand , all artists will have access to it. So that’s good
    But yeah, the REAL question is : what is the pay going to be from the streaming service ? If it’s the same peanuts we get from Spotify , i don’t think it will get much love from labels/artists. And if the payements really suck , can we opt out from the streaming service ?

    • Yeah, agreed, and there was very little said about this.

      • SomeDude

        I just found a new page on Apple website on how to use Connect for artists, and I like what I’ve read so far. But no info whatsoever on the streaming side.

        here’s the link : http://www.apple.com/itunes/working-itunes/connect/

        • SomeDude

          More info: So, i tried to claim my artist profile ( they ask you for your Apple ID, then the name of the artist ), and now it’s asking me to enter either the name of my manager ( uh..it’s me), and/or the name of my record company ( uh… none, i use Tunecore.) . Not sure what to do .. Anyone else tried ?

          • TuneCore may actually be your record company name there… yeah, interesting question. I’m looking at the same.

          • I tried. Now pending: one that’s me as solo artist (was through Tunecore, which is doubly interesting as I haven’t paid my dues lately!) … one through a label.

            I’ll let you know what happens.

            It looks to me like you can just list yourself as artist and label contact. But you can’t leave those forms blank.

          • elia

            same as @Peter Kirn:disqus. i’ve just claim my artist profile but it seems you need at least one album released on itunes. anyway i’m pending and just curious..

        • Thanks for this! Much appreciated!

    • foljs

      Spotify payments are only peanuts if you’re not popular. In which case they are peanuts everywhere.

      Compared to radio for example, Spotify pays 4 or more times as much per “listen”.

      • ElectroB

        “Portishead made just £1,700 from 34 million online streams”
        http://www.gigwise.com/news/99702/portishead-geoff-barrow-got-few-earnings-from-spotify-online-streams

        Spotify and streaming service payments are only peanuts if:

        1) you’re not popular and

        2) if you don’t have access to some shady backstage deal between your label and the ex-pirates-turned-media-moguls that run this business.

        Also, I would like to point out that while 100 streams is peanuts indeed, 100 legally downloaded tracks at 50 cents are also peanuts — only they’re much bigger peanuts. Just saying.

        As for Apple’s new service, we’ll see what happens, but I’m guessing that artist revenues will be “distributed” in much the same way that Youtube and Spotify do.

  • SomeDude

    Connect looks pretty nice, i think it could work , and from what i understand , all artists will have access to it. So that’s good
    But yeah, the REAL question is : what is the pay going to be from the streaming service ? If it’s the same peanuts we get from Spotify , i don’t think it will get much love from labels/artists. And if the payements really suck , can we opt out from the streaming service ?

    • Yeah, agreed, and there was very little said about this.

      • SomeDude

        I just found a new page on Apple website on how to use Connect for artists, and I like what I’ve read so far. But no info whatsoever on the streaming side.

        here’s the link : http://www.apple.com/itunes/working-itunes/connect/

        • SomeDude

          More info: So, i tried to claim my artist profile ( they ask you for your Apple ID, then the name of the artist ), and now it’s asking me to enter either the name of my manager ( uh..it’s me), and/or the name of my record company ( uh… none, i use Tunecore.) . Not sure what to do .. Anyone else tried ?

          • TuneCore may actually be your record company name there… yeah, interesting question. I’m looking at the same.

          • I tried. Now pending: one that’s me as solo artist (was through Tunecore, which is doubly interesting as I haven’t paid my dues lately!) … one through a label.

            I’ll let you know what happens.

            It looks to me like you can just list yourself as artist and label contact. But you can’t leave those forms blank.

          • elia

            same as @Peter Kirn:disqus. i’ve just claim my artist profile but it seems you need at least one album released on itunes. anyway i’m pending and just curious..

        • Thanks for this! Much appreciated!

    • foljs

      Spotify payments are only peanuts if you’re not popular. In which case they are peanuts everywhere.

      Compared to radio for example, Spotify pays 4 or more times as much per “listen”.

      • Elekb

        “Portishead made just £1,700 from 34 million online streams”
        http://www.gigwise.com/news/99702/portishead-geoff-barrow-got-few-earnings-from-spotify-online-streams

        Spotify and streaming service payments are only peanuts if:

        1) you’re not popular and

        2) if you don’t have access to some shady backstage deal between your label and the ex-pirates-turned-media-moguls that run this business.

        Also, I would like to point out that while 100 streams is peanuts indeed, 100 legally downloaded tracks at 50 cents are also peanuts — only they’re much bigger peanuts. Just saying.

        As for Apple’s new service, we’ll see what happens, but I’m guessing that artist revenues will be “distributed” in much the same way that Youtube and Spotify do.

  • SomeDude

    Also, i really don’t care about the whole radio thing, i doubt it will pla y the kind of obscure stuff i like… Yeah , i can see David Guetta in charge of the electronic music selection…hum…

    • Yes, we got Trent Reznor in the keynote, but he basically told us to go listen to this – no, I want my Reznor Radio!

  • SomeDude

    Also, i really don’t care about the whole radio thing, i doubt it will pla y the kind of obscure stuff i like… Yeah , i can see David Guetta in charge of the electronic music selection…hum…

    • Yes, we got Trent Reznor in the keynote, but he basically told us to go listen to this – no, I want my Reznor Radio!

  • SomeDude

    Also, i really don’t care about the whole radio thing, i doubt it will pla y the kind of obscure stuff i like… Yeah , i can see David Guetta in charge of the electronic music selection…hum…

    • Yes, we got Trent Reznor in the keynote, but he basically told us to go listen to this – no, I want my Reznor Radio!

  • Freeks

    Youtube rules the streaming. Youtube has 80% streams and rest of the 20% is shared with Spotify, Apple, Tidal etc.

    I can bet 20€ that Apple music will be closed in 2019. Steve Jobs would have not never release app in Andoid.

    • Steve Jobs released Safari for Windows, iTunes for Windows, the iPod for Windows, and a number of apps for the Web. He also hired most of the executive team you just watched. He shipped the iOS mobile devices you saw and the iPod and shaped Apple’s music-centric strategy and approach to artist relations. And his vision of Ping was just reborn.

      That’s a fairly significant impact for someone who isn’t even with us today.

      • Freeks

        Windows was desktop and android is mobile. Apple has always boasted with apps and features that are iOS only.

        • foljs

          And they also boasted for apps and features that are OS X only.

          So? They still made some Windows apps.

          • Freeks

            Try to download Safari for windows 8. Good luck. They made iTunes as that was only way to make iPod popular as 90% of the users didn’t have mac’s.

            Android is the biggest smart phone platform so they bend to make version for it too. I doubt it will be succesfull as same teens that use androids do not want to pay for streams as they get it free form Youtube.

            No matter what Spotify and Apple does, Google will win it anyways. Free service wins.

  • Freeks

    Youtube rules the streaming. Youtube has 80% streams and rest of the 20% is shared with Spotify, Apple, Tidal etc.

    I can bet 20€ that Apple music will be closed in 2019. Steve Jobs would have not never release app in Andoid.

    • Steve Jobs released Safari for Windows, iTunes for Windows, the iPod for Windows, and a number of apps for the Web. He also hired most of the executive team you just watched. He shipped the iOS mobile devices you saw and the iPod and shaped Apple’s music-centric strategy and approach to artist relations. And his vision of Ping was just reborn.

      That’s a fairly significant impact for someone who isn’t even with us today.

      • Freeks

        Windows was desktop and android is mobile. Apple has always boasted with apps and features that are iOS only.

        • foljs

          And they also boasted for apps and features that are OS X only.

          So? They still made some Windows apps.

          • Freeks

            Try to download Safari for windows 8. Good luck. They made iTunes as that was only way to make iPod popular as 90% of the users didn’t have mac’s.

            Android is the biggest smart phone platform so they bend to make version for it too. I doubt it will be succesfull as same teens that use androids do not want to pay for streams as they get it free form Youtube.

            No matter what Spotify and Apple does, Google will win it anyways. Free service wins.

  • Freeks

    Youtube rules the streaming. Youtube has 80% streams and rest of the 20% is shared with Spotify, Apple, Tidal etc.

    I can bet 20€ that Apple music will be closed in 2019. Steve Jobs would have not never release app in Andoid.

    • Steve Jobs released Safari for Windows, iTunes for Windows, the iPod for Windows, and a number of apps for the Web. He also hired most of the executive team you just watched. He shipped the iOS mobile devices you saw and the iPod and shaped Apple’s music-centric strategy and approach to artist relations. And his vision of Ping was just reborn.

      That’s a fairly significant impact for someone who isn’t even with us today.

      • Freeks

        Windows was desktop and android is mobile. Apple has always boasted with apps and features that are iOS only.

        • foljs

          And they also boasted for apps and features that are OS X only.

          So? They still made some Windows apps.

          • Freeks

            Try to download Safari for windows 8. Good luck. They made iTunes as that was only way to make iPod popular as 90% of the users didn’t have mac’s.

            Android is the biggest smart phone platform so they bend to make version for it too. I doubt it will be succesfull as same teens that use androids do not want to pay for streams as they get it free form Youtube.

            No matter what Spotify and Apple does, Google will win it anyways. Free service wins.

  • foljs

    “””It’s not just deja vu. You’ve seen this stuff before. The basic ingredients of Apple Music are all repackaged, refined, or integrated from existing ideas.”””

    So like mp3 players existed before the iPod, smartphones before the iPhone and tablets before the iPad?

    Bringing stuff out of nowhere is not what Apple does best. It’s refining existing stuff in new desirable directions…

    • First query: well, I make that very argument so not sure with whom you’re arguing.

      Answer to your second query:
      1. BBC Radio 1.
      2. BBC Radio 1 (with this DJ)
      3. BBC Radio 1.
      Among others. 😉 But Radio 1 is the obvious comparison. Hell, it’s even in London.

      • foljs

        BBC Radio 1 is a British thing.

        A regular (non internet) radio that happens to also be broadcast digitally (like tons of others), and not very big outside the british world.

        The new one also has American based programming (and a third Asian part IIRC?).

    • Michi

      NTS Radio, except the big budget.

  • foljs

    “””It’s not just deja vu. You’ve seen this stuff before. The basic ingredients of Apple Music are all repackaged, refined, or integrated from existing ideas.”””

    So like mp3 players existed before the iPod, smartphones before the iPhone and tablets before the iPad? Bringing stuff out of nowhere is not what Apple does best. It’s refining existing stuff in new desirable directions…

    “”””””Oddly, Apple claims this is the first such station – isn’t any Internet radio station “global”?”””

    Is there any internet radio station that’s (1) 24/7, (2) has actual DJs, not mere playlists, (3) operates like a big budget radio station?

    • First query: well, I make that very argument so not sure with whom you’re arguing.

      Answer to your second query:
      1. BBC Radio 1.
      2. BBC Radio 1 (with this DJ)
      3. BBC Radio 1.
      Among others. 😉 But Radio 1 is the obvious comparison. Hell, it’s even in London.

      • foljs

        BBC Radio 1 is a British thing.

        A regular (non internet) radio that happens to also be broadcast digitally (like tons of others), and not very big outside the british world.

        The new one also has American based programming (and a third Asian part IIRC?).

    • Michi

      NTS Radio, except the big budget.

  • foljs

    “””It’s not just deja vu. You’ve seen this stuff before. The basic ingredients of Apple Music are all repackaged, refined, or integrated from existing ideas.”””

    So like mp3 players existed before the iPod, smartphones before the iPhone and tablets before the iPad? Bringing stuff out of nowhere is not what Apple does best. It’s refining existing stuff in new desirable directions…

    “”””””Oddly, Apple claims this is the first such station – isn’t any Internet radio station “global”?”””

    Is there any internet radio station that’s (1) 24/7, (2) has actual DJs, not mere playlists, (3) operates like a big budget radio station?

    • First query: well, I make that very argument so not sure with whom you’re arguing.

      Answer to your second query:
      1. BBC Radio 1.
      2. BBC Radio 1 (with this DJ)
      3. BBC Radio 1.
      Among others. 😉 But Radio 1 is the obvious comparison. Hell, it’s even in London.

      • foljs

        BBC Radio 1 is a British thing.

        A regular (non internet) radio that happens to also be broadcast digitally (like tons of others), and not very big outside the british world.

        The new one also has American based programming (and a third Asian part IIRC?).

    • Michi

      NTS Radio, except the big budget.

  • wondering if you still need a label for getting your music on Apple Music. if that’s the case I don’t like it.

  • wondering if you still need a label for getting your music on Apple Music. if that’s the case I don’t like it.

  • wondering if you still need a label for getting your music on Apple Music. if that’s the case I don’t like it.

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    • ElectroB

      Spam alert!