On Tuesday at WWDC, Apple unveiled Apple Music, and guess what? It contains a social network for musicians and fans called Connect. If you’re up to paying $9.99 a month, you can stream from Apple Music’s selection of over 30 million songs, and peruse an interactive social media tab.
“Through Connect, artists can share lyrics, backstage photos, videos or even release their latest song directly to fans directly from their iPhone. Fans can comment on or like anything an artist has posted, and share it via Messages, Facebook, Twitter and email.”
Apple described in a press release. It sounds like a mini Twitter in a streaming music app, and even more like this press release from 2010 about Ping, Apple’s last attempt running a social music network.
“Ping lets you follow your favorite artists to see what they’re up to, check out photos and videos they’ve posted, see their tour dates and read comments about other artists and albums they’re listening to.”
You see, Apple has had plans to have a social music network for some time. In fact, their last try, Ping, turned out to be an embarrassing failure, with around a million users plagued with low activity. Apple quietly shelved Ping in 2012 to keep iTunes focused on selling multimedia.
But Apple’s dream to have a successful social network is rearing its head once again. Whether or not that dream is going to come true remains dubious.
It seems like a natural idea to have a social network in a music service, especially one in a popular music market like iTunes. The problem is, people didn’t show much interest in Apple’s Ping network — which was basically Connect for iTunes. Apple is going to have to convince a lot of the same people who were disinterested in Ping to use Connect. And judging by last time, that doesn’t look easy.
Celebrities, like Lady GaGa and Drake, are certainly hyping up Apple Music, though. Drake is even releasing his album through the service, Inquisitr reported.
This comes at a time when Jay-Z’s subscription-only music business Tidal, where artists can also release exclusive content, hasn’t elicited even a million subscribers. Apple Music spells doom for Tidal, because it offers the same exact features: streaming music at $9.99 a month, exclusive releases, and social content.
Apple Music’s main competitor is Spotify with 15 million subscribers, but even their subscribers aren’t bringing in great money. Luckily for a cash cow like Apple, subscribers to streaming music don’t need to be a main source of income.
[Image: Courtesy of Apple]