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The falling demand for song downloads -- and the lukewarm response to iTunes Radio -- is part of the reason Apple decided to purchase Beats. Legendary record producer Jimmy Iovine, rapper Dr. Dre and Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor all joined Apple through the acquisition, and Beats Music Chief Executive Ian C. Rogers became the head of iTunes Radio. Until this point, Beats and iTunes have remained separate services, though they've pooled expertise and resources. And so far, Apple has done little publicly with Beats besides pushing its music service with current iTunes customers and promoting its headphones in Apple Stores.
That will change when Apple shows off its revamped service on Monday, While Apple had pressed the record labels for a lower price, its service will likely cost the industry standard of $10 a month, The Beats Music identity is going away, and Apple also likely will embed the offering into its current Music app, which means it automatically shows up on iPhones and iPads, The revamped service likely will include many of Beat's features -- such as curated playlists -- but will incorporate a more Apple-like look and feel, The company also has reportedly been pursuing exclusive deals with artists to offer their albums on the new service first, and its offering could give musicians more control over kim k iphone case their material, providing them with pages where they can post track samples, videos and concert details..
Apple also is reportedly revitalizing iTunes Radio with channels programmed and hosted by live DJs, including high profile artists like Drake. In the year since Apple unveiled its plans to buy Beats, the streaming music service has watched competitors' usage grow while its own held stagnant. Except for Pandora, which is run by a publicly traded company, online music services don't provide regular updates about their listeners. But third-party peeks indicate Beats Music's status dawdled while it sat on the sidelines.
Fewer people in the US visited Beats Music in April than a year earlier, right before Apple unveiled its takeover, making it the only service among the six main competitors in online streaming music to see that traffic fall, according to traffic scorekeeper ComScore, Internet radio service Pandora, on-demand streamer Spotify, user-uploaded audio site SoundCloud, and subscription services Rhapsody and Rdio all had increasing visits to their sites and apps across desktop and mobile between May 2014 and April 2015 -- while Beats' unique visitors slipped to 1.1 million from 1.4 million, By comparison, April saw Pandora rack up 86 million visitors and Spotify reach 38 kim k iphone case million..
In fact, Beats was the only service to see its visitors drop below the 1 million mark during the last year. In July, ComScore counted only 941,000 unique visitors. Beats Music's brand perception struggled as well. Immediately after Apple said it would buy Beats, the subscription service's appeal was modestly positive, based on a "Buzz score" by YouGov BrandIndex. Beats Music scored 3.3, meaning 3.3 percent more people viewed it positively than negatively. One year later, that score slipped to 0.6, and it dipped into negative territory once. While Pandora's favorability also saw ups and downs, its appeal always far outstripped Beats, most recently at about 15.
Apple may be coming to the subscription game late, but it benefits from unique advantages, The world's most valuable company, Apple sits on a huge stockpile of cash ($193.5 billion as of the end of March), especially compared with companies like Spotify and Pandora that are still trying to figure out how to be profitable, Even though Apple typically doesn't enter businesses where it loses money, it could operate a subscription service at a loss as long as it fuels its kim k iphone case more profitable hardware sales..
Importantly, Apple already has payment relationships with more than 800 million people worldwide through iTunes. That's a big advantage, said Wei Shi, analyst for Strategy Analytics. "If consumers feel that [Apple's] proposition is more compelling, it's easier for them to pay," he said. Apple's possession of payment details could be meaningful for the music industry as well, said Tom Silverman, the founder of hip-hop label Tommy Boy Records and organizer of the New Music Seminar yearly conference to discuss shifts in the recording industry.
If the company can convert a fraction of those iTunes users into people paying a monthly rate, it would tip the number of worldwide music subscribers over the 100 million threshold that Silverman marks as a turning point for streaming music becoming a sustainable business model, "That can change the music business in one year," he said, But the lesson of iTunes Radio shows how Apple can misfire despite its advantages, Before launching its Internet radio product in 2013, anticipation was high that Apple could be creating a "Pandora killer." But Pandora's listening stats continued to grow unabated, and iTunes Radio has failed to kim k iphone case gain significant traction..