Apple Music is a popular streaming service, but it will need to continue to add new elements that users, both existing and potential, actually want to use and listen to to keep them around.
WIRED (via 9to5Mac) has a report on what that might look like this week. In a conversation with Zane Lowe, global head of music relations at Apple Music (among other things), and Oliver Schusser, head of Apple Music, the pair detail what’s coming down the line for Apple’s gigantic music streaming service, and what customers can expect over the next year.
Beats 1 is a huge focal point for Lowe, which certainly makes sense considering that’s where he got his start with Apple Music when the service first launched. As such he sees a lot of unexplored potential for Beats 1 and Apple Music in general, where the two services can be more combined and listeners can start to discover even more music they might enjoy:
I want more people to listen and discover this stuff,” says Lowe. “And I want to integrate what we do at Beats 1 into Apple Music more thoroughly. I would guess there are still subscribers who don’t realise Elton John has done over 200 shows. Those shows are works of art in their own right.
That will mean a lot of new faces (or voices) at Beats 1 in the near future as well, with the service bringing on more DJs to handle distributing content and more. Some of that new content is already happening, with some artists detailing the evolution of their latest album, both pre- and post-launch, on Beats 1. Listeners can expect more of that in the future:
The idea is also to amplify what Apple thinks no-one is doing with Lowe promising “some big new names” for Beats 1 hosts, alongside lead DJs Julie Adenuga and Ebro Darden, in the next few months. What’s interesting is that Beats 1 is now documenting the creative process in real time, with Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig discussing the album Father of the Bride pre- and post-launch on his twice monthly Time Crisis show. Lowe would argue that the shows are even interacting with the music that’s produced by these artists. “Q Tip has a selection of beats and sounds he drops in and that’s how you know you’re listening to his show,” he says. “Then I listened to the last A Tribe Called Quest album and it sounded like Abstract Radio. I felt so stoked when I realised that.
One of Apple Music’s biggest strengths is the ability for users to pr-add an album before it’s actually available. This also makes handling released singles a bit easier, too, as in most cases it means you don’t have a bunch of repeated songs after an album’s official release. And it turns out that’s a boon for just about everyone involved, not just the subscriber:
It turns out users are four times more likely to complete an album if they’d pre-added it to their collection, 1.5 times more likely to listen to it again and they listen to music four times longer than other Apple Music subscribers. In short, Apple is trying to build a better hype machine than its rivals to counteract the popular, but depersonalised playlists that have come to dominate music streaming.
The full interview with Lowe and Schusser is definitely worth a read, especially if you’re a fan of Apple Music. And there are a few people out there who have subscribed to Apple’s streaming music service, with the last report saying the service had over 60 million paid subscribers.
Are you a fan of Apple Music and/or Beats 1? Are you hoping to see more of the two services bridging the gap between them in the future?