Apple Music was supposed to be a streaming music titan, the Spotify killer the company needed. Instead it was just more or less Beats Music with a few different logos and a handful of tweaks. That was good enough for a beefy 15 million subscribers, but Spotify is still king of the music streaming hill. All that, however, is changing, as Apple is making a major bid for your eardrums.
Apple Music has ditched a lot of Beats’ look and style to look, well, to look more like Spotify, if the truth is to be told. The most Spotify-like features are mostly found in the new For You tab. Apple’s had some excellent curated playlists, and it’s expanding on that with a daily curated mix that’s more or less Discover Weekly from Spotify with the serial numbers sanded off. It’s also added lyrics to each song, which you can scroll down and read, and a nice, poppy, black and white color scheme that makes it look a bit like you’re reading an issue of Billboard. It also gets a Downloaded Music section, so anything local can be played back from that tab and users can send Apple Music in -ine links in Messages with the ability to play right from your texts. It’ll arrive with iOS 10, which is coming later this fall.
Will it be enough to shake loose some of Spotify’s subscribers? Good question. Apple’s tack of if you can’t beat them, improve on them is a tricky one when it comes to something as varied and personal as musical taste. It’s doing more to help subscribers find new music, however, which has been one of the key complaints about the app in the past, so it’s good Apple’s addressing it. But inertia is a powerful force, and we’ll have to see how the discovery tools work when put head to head.