back to article Time to face the Apple Music: Spotify looks worried, and rightly so

Spotify has pulled in extra investment and put out figures showing a jump in paying customers - effectively puffing out its chest as hype-magnet Apple enters the music streaming market. In addition to the $350m in pulled in last month, the company has raised an additional $115m from TeliaSonera, valuing it at $8.5bn. Somewhat …

  1. Robert Helpmann??
    Childcatcher

    Not Just Apple

    Perhaps Spotify has finally noticed Jay Z's efforts. There are other streaming services with similar price points and catalog size. It should come as no great surprise that more might enter the field or, as in the case of Apple, adjust their approach to it. Perhaps Spotify should retaliate by putting together a skinned Android phone that is optimized for sound quality.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    13% marketshare

    I guess that's the elephant in the room, iPhone is a niche product for hipsters that like to parade their toys.

    Back in three real workd, Spotify, Pandora and Google Music are what people use. The latter has a catalogue that destroys apples offering

    1. Naselus

      Re: 13% marketshare

      "13% marketshare"

      This. Apple Music will be automatically pushed out to 13% of the world's phones. Whoopee do. I'm sure when Microsoft create CortanaKaraoke and push it out free onto the 2% market share that windows phone holds, Spotify won't need to give a shit then, either. Monopoly power means nothing if you don't actually have a monopoly.

      Even if Spotify lose every single iPhone to Apple Music, they'll still be better-placed in the 'droid market, which is the marketplace that actually matters. Android has 85% of the smartphone market and that number is still growing. Apple has 13% and that number is still shrinking.

      1. simon gardener

        Re: 13% marketshare

        Spotify doesn't need to lose for Apple to win - or vice versa - the market place is big enough for competition.

        I would argue the importance of the percentages that you quote.

        A large percentage of the Android share will be the very low end of the market, phones that people bought because they are very cheap. That kind of consumer is far less likely to pay for a monthly streaming service.

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: 13% marketshare

      iTunes is generating $billions from just 13% of the market.

      And it might be 13% of the smartphone market, but it's not 13% of the "people who own smartphones AND ACTUALLY BUY APPS/MUSIC" market. The income generated from mobile sales is disproportionately weighted to iOS.

      What % of Spotify mobile users are iOS for instance... I bet you it's far more than 13%.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The latter has a catalogue that destroys apples offering

      Yeah, so did Grooveshark, and for the same "safe harbour" bullshit reasons. Didn't stop them getting shut down. Could Apple stir the shit enough to get Google investigated the way Grooveshark were?

  3. Lionel Baden

    I do hope this isn't a issue.

    I love having a device agnostic service. GL spotify.

    1. BigAndos

      Re: I do hope this isn't a issue.

      Yep! I love the fact I can sit at my PC in the evening, save a few new albums I want to stream and then save them offline on my Anrdoid phone to listen do during my commute. Or my girlfriend can do the same on my PC and then either download them to her iPad or her Android phone. Spotify does work really well cross device and it does have a great catalogue. I have always desperately hoped they would become profitable and stick around.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: I do hope this isn't a issue.

        Will Apple Music definitely BE iOS-only? After all, iTunes is available on Windows and allows you to stick your Apple-bought MP3s on your Android device, etc.

        1. goldcd

          No

          They've confirmed an Android client

        2. Lionel Baden

          Re: I do hope this isn't a issue.

          @JSX

          I am unfortunatley not software agnostic, There is now way in hell your going to catch me funding Apple, I really disagree with their business model, and vote with my wallet.

          Yeah i know im going to get a bit of hate, but the idea of crippled half functioning Itunes on $anyothersystem$, which im sure will function fine on IOS, Meh bugger that!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The only nice thing I see about Apple Music is the family offering, currently paying for two subs on Google Music and don't really want to create another google account just for music on two devices.

    Other than that it doesn't bring anything special to the mix. I can't see it taking business away from Spotify in great amounts but it might well get iPhoners who have no streaming service to use Apple Music just because... it's Apple.

    1. Richard 22

      Spotify also have a family offering (half price for additional accounts on the same bill).

      The main thing I like about spotify is the number of devices it works on - I've personally used it on linux, windows, android, iOS, symbian, fireos and two different amps from different manufacturers. There's many more devices out there with it as well. I don't see anyone else with the same breadth of device support. Apple certainly isn't going to.

      1. Edward Noel

        "Apple certainly isn't going to"

        Apple press release 8/6/15: "Apple Music is available on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, and PC starting June 30. Apple Music will be coming to Apple TV and Android phones this fall."

        So you'll be able to get it on your PC and Android phone, not just on iOS/OS X.

        1. Maventi

          Re: "Apple certainly isn't going to"

          "So you'll be able to get it on your PC and Android phone, not just on iOS/OS X."

          Please don't recycle the ambiguous and outdated term 'PC'. It will be available on Windows is what this should state.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Richard 22. Spotify may well have a family offering but, as I said, I used Google Play Music which doesn't and it was a comment of what I found attractive about it.

  5. DavidJB

    Spotify announcements always have to be read with a hefty dose of caution. Why did the number of paying subscribers increase very sharply towards the end of last year? Well, there could be several reasons, but the most obvious is that Spotify started offering extremely generous discounts to new subscribers. Notably, many were able to get a 3-month introductory trial for only £1 or $1. That's right: just 33 pence or cents per month! In Spotify's stats these would presumably count as 'paying subscribers' even though the actual revenue per head would probably be less than if they were 'ad-supported' in the free tier. So the acid test, which journalists should be putting to Spotify, is whether revenue per head has actually increased over the period.

    1. Alan_Peery

      Your point is good, but incomplete. To get the discounted offer, I suspect that a credit card was required. So in three months, the charges start rolling in, and 40% cancel. That still leaves the 60% that didn't cancel converted from non-paying users to paying customers.

  6. trevorde Silver badge

    Apple Music now part of iOS

    "Apple can also automatically install its app on all its users' phones when they upgrade to the latest version of its operating system."

    Cue Spotify being removed from app store for 'duplicating core functionality'

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Apple Music now part of iOS

      There's always some idiot who comes up with this "now Apple is going to ban competitors" but no one can point to a single instance where they have retroactively banned competing apps. Did they ban Google Maps or Nokia Here when they did Apple Maps? No. Did they ban WhatsApp et al when they introduced iMessage? No. And so on...

      But please, continue with the ridiculous assertions every time Apple adds something new that all the competition is going to be banned from the App Store tomorrow.

  7. Tom Chiverton 1

    "Apple can also automatically install its app on all its users' phones when they upgrade "

    Isn't that abuse of market power ?

    1. Ian 7

      Re: "Apple can also automatically install its app on all its users' phones when they upgrade "

      Nope, it's cross-selling. Abuse of market power would be banning competing apps from their platform, not competing with them (very) aggressively.

    2. SniperPenguin

      Re: "Apple can also automatically install its app on all its users' phones when they upgrade "

      I would think so ..... Just look at Microsoft / Internet Explorer.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not interested

    Not in the least bit interested in these streaming services as they don't have the music I am interested in. Or more correctly, I'm not interested in listening to the crap they do play and certainly not interested in paying not to listen to that crap.

    1. sabroni Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: certainly not interested in paying not to listen to that crap.

      That's you that is

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: certainly not interested in paying not to listen to that crap.

        @sabroni

        Muppet.

        I can name many artists I like, although I doubt you have heard of them.

        1. sabroni Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Muppet.

          Ooh, name calling? Sounds like I touched a nerve!

          "I can name many artists I like, although I doubt you have heard of them." Isn't that a quote from the article I linked to?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Muppet.

            @sabroni

            Pot. Kettle. Black.

            Just go back and look at your original post and have a think, will you?

        2. Sandtitz Silver badge

          Re: certainly not interested in paying not to listen to that crap.

          Muppet.

          That's a good one!

          I have several Muppet albums and they're still as good as ever!

    2. Brian Morrison

      Re: Not interested

      I thought the great thing about these streaming services was that they have *all* the music there is, or a close approximation to that anyway.

      For the cost of the subscription they charge I would be pretty miffed if more than 1 in 200 of the things I want to listen to isn't there. Otherwise I might just as well load my phone with music I've ripped from CDs.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not interested

        Nope.

        The ones I've checked out only have "mainstream" music. Start getting into the more obscure/indie artists and the choice rapidly dries up.

        1. Alan_Peery

          Re: Not interested

          Only because there are so many bands.

          I've found local artists with following of 100, obscure 1980s New Wave, and bands such as Star One/Ayreon/Guilt Machine, Dr. Steel, Voltaire, and the soundtracks to Batman, Spartacus, and much more.

          If you want another good way to find new music,give the streaming services a try. For Spotify, that's starting with a track from one of the bands in your exotic list, and choosing "Start Song Radio".

    3. Alan_Peery

      Re: Not interested

      It's only "that crap" if you always want to listen to the same thing.

      You can discover a huge set of new banks this way. I've found many, with two slotting firmly into my favorites: a new-to-me guitar maestro of Joe Satriani with Pandora when it was in the UK, and a steampunk bank called Abney Park via a random linkage in Spotify.

  9. captain semtex

    Couldn't have happened to a nicer company!

    I'm not a Fanbois, but Apple Music is music to my ears. I'm a paying subscriber to Spotify simply because it's on all my devices and I had no other real choice. But Spotify doesn't listen to its users. Family pricing was only recently introduced after *years* of complaints, and only to select markets, plus they still refuse to allow the option to block explicit music... one of the most requested options by users.

    Apple ticks both of these boxes right out of the gate, plus they have the content, they are creating an Android app and device manufacturers will follow soon.

    Had Spotify listened to its users then I would stay with them... but they didn't. So I look forward to cancelling my Spotify subscription and signing up to Apple Music's family plan.

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Couldn't have happened to a nicer company!

      What I really dislike about Spotify is the badly behaving Windows software which insists on installing into users' folders and not under %programfiles%. People have complained on their boards but Spotify just doesn't listen - it takes constant admin work to gather the hash for latest versions with software restriction policies in place.

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