8 Takeaways For The Music Industry From Wednesday’s Apple Event

Apple-logo[ UPDATE ] CEO Tim Cook spent only about 3 minutes at yesterday's Apple Event talking about Apple Music, but tucked into it and other announcements were some important messages, both real and implied, for the music industry and all music fans.

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A roundup up of music and music industry related news from Wednesday's Apple Event.

  • Apple music cardsApple Music now has 17 million subscribers. that's up an acceptable 2 million from 15 million in June.
  • Apple Music is still very committed to "Exclusives." In his very short Apple Music pitch, CEO Tim Cook touted the 70 exclusives that Apple has had since launch. "Apple Music has become the premier destination for artist to exclusively debut new music," said Cook. (more
  • Audio quality matters.  Apple killed the headphone jack yesterday, and a major reason given for it demise was that Apple's Lightning port could deliver better sound quality. Plus the new iPhone 7 comes with vastly improved stereo speakers; and the technology behind Apple's new AirPods and Beats wireless headphones was touted as a quantum leap in wireless audio. (more)
  • Apple still wants to be in control of everything. The other reason for the switch to Lightning is that, unlike headphone jacks, Apple controls and profits from the Lightening patent. You also won't see Apple licensing its improved wireless audio tech to anyone other than its own headphone brand Beats.
  • A new and improved Apple Music will launch next week.  iOS 10, which includes an improved interface for Apple Music will launch on September 13th. 
  • Only BIG artists matter to Apple. The new and improved Apple Music includes one major downgrade. Artist to fan platform Connect gets downgraded in the new app. Even as Pandora and Spotify create new products to help artists connect with and monetize fans, Apple Music is deemphasizing its comparatively meager efforts.
  • Machines are taking over music discovery.  Despite Apple Music's original emphasis on human curation, the new app puts two computer generated personal playlists front and center: "My New Music Mix” and “My Favorites Mix.”
  • Lower pricing - Just prior to yesterday's launch, Apple started offering $99 one year subscriptions to Apple Music via a gift card. That's down from Apple Music and Spotify's usual $120 per year.  Overnight came reports that users can also auto-renew at the lower price.