This morning, WSJ is reporting that Apple is developing a music streaming service. When iCloud was rumored last year, it was among the list of speculative guesses up until the fruit company announced iTunes Match. Instead of the expected streaming service, it was merely a cloud storage space for all your personal music. $25 per year being the cost, it’s hardly great value for money especially when you consider the cost of purchasing each individual song or album.
European company, Spotify, launched a legal and free alternative to iTunes a few years back which finally made its way across the Atlantic last year to huge success. I finally signed up and haven’t looked back since. Paying my £9.99 per month to listen to as much music as I want on any device I want is fantastic value for money, especially considering that that price per month on iTunes would get me two albums at most.
Of course, there are many of you who may not see the value in Spotify, especially if you’re a fan of The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd or AC/DC among others. There are some big-name bands who haven’t been keen on allowing Spotify to offer their music so cheaply. This is exactly where the iTunes streaming service could be a match winner. The company already has the rights to sell virtually every single band’s music. If priced competitively it could be a huge hit. They’d just need to tweak agreements to allow them to stream the content as well as selling it. Cupertino’s strong negotiators can surely pull this off.
iTunes is currently available in 225 different countries. Compare that to Spotify’s 15 and all of a sudden you see the kind of impact iTunes streaming could have on our much loved, green-logo’d service. With having a much larger market to aim at, and already having saved the music industry from death, Apple has a strong bargaining position.
Although it wouldn’t mean certain death for Spotify, it could well turn it in to an Android-only affair, creating the wrong kind of Android vs. iOS argument. Because I love Spotify so much, I’d have a hard time if Apple came on the scene all guns blazing, offering all its music for a low monthly cost. We don’t need another industry monopolized by our favorite tech company, no matter how much we like it.
What are your thoughts on this? Could Spotify survive competing against Cupertino? Will Apple even release a streaming service?