Apple’s new Apple Music offering, introduced at Apple’s always anticipated World Wide Developer’s Conference (WWDC 2015), is getting resoundingly bad reviews among the technorati, to almost no one’s surprise. Why?
Mostly because many of the features of the new service have been tried before, or they’re designed to catch up with competitors – with dismal results.
Chris Taylor, Mashable’s self-described Apple fanboy, said he was frustrated and angered by the announcement.
“Apple fixes things; it solves problems; it strives towards elegant simplicity. But Apple Music seems like the company has doubled down on all the worst features of iTunes — including one that was dead and should have stayed that way, a musician-based social network,” wrote Taylor. “It added more features no one asked for (who was clamoring for a 24-hour radio station?), and tried to dazzle us with star power (Drake’s baffling content-free appearance, which was reminiscent of the disastrous Tidal launch).
“Apple users like me — hardcore fans who have nevertheless strayed to Spotify — were left wondering why the heck our favorite company can’t get its musical act together.”
The last time Apple tried this was with Ping, a music-based social network that lasted from 2010 to 2012. Ping was touted as a way for artists to connect to their audiences and was expected to give MySpace a run for its money. But both MySpace and Ping were overrun by the success of Facebook and later, Spotify.
Left absent from the discussion is the seemingly obvious fact that Apple Music is fundamentally a streaming service, like Apple TV, and video is expected to bring even bigger dollars than music. Which may explain why Apple is falling all over itself to court the big studios and stars.
By contrast, Spotify has built its engine for consumers, delivering tons of value and connectivity in the process, said insiders.
“Hence the anger and frustration. Apple didn’t need to buy Beats to retake the high ground in online music. It went in precisely the wrong direction — and by doing so, it appears to have poisoned the company culture where music is concerned,” said Taylor. “That doesn’t bode well for Apple under Cook’s decision-making.”
Another well-regarded Apple Fanboy, Fred Davis, had this to say:
“The big news about Apple’s WWDC was that there was no big news. I mean, really, this is the weakest WWDC keynote I’ve ever seen, by far. It was mostly about Apple playing catch up with innovations created by other companies… the opposite of being innovative.”
Davis said that although Apple Music was “the star of the show,” that wasn’t saying much.
“Tim Cook boasted that the new Apple Music service would be “the next chapter in music” and “will change the way you experience music forever.” Um, that is unless you already use Spotify, Rdio, and similar services that have been in the market for years. This is basically catching up, not much new about it.”
Even Robert Scoble, one of the technorati’s biggest Apple fans, reluctantly agreed.
“Me? I am not impressed by Apple’s Music either,” said Scoble, in a notation attaching Taylor’s blog post. “This write up does a far better job than I could. Damn, the press is starting to go after Apple.”
Maybe Apple needs to start going after its customers.