So the Apple WWDC 2015 event is now behind us and a couple of products and services were announced by Apple but most significantly among them are products we suspected would b announced eventually.
Apple’s streaming service will be available from this month in over 100 countries on all Apple devices including Mac and PC. The service will also be made available eventually on Android later this year. The cost? $10/1,900 Naira per month. Oh yes there’s also a free trial period of 3 months and if you want to be on a family plan which is similar to what Spotify offers, you can get that for $15/2,900 Naira a month.
As expected of Apple this launch was a star studded one with Drake and Pharrell teaming up with Apple. This new service is expected to take on Spotify and most recently Tidal.
DJ Zane Lowe will anchor the newly announced Beats 1 radio which will live feed from Los Angeles, New York City and London. In Britain alone, there are over 7 million paying music streaming accounts so little wonder Apple would want to tap fully into this market. Apple currently has over 800 million credit cards on its iTunes platform and how they intend to convert most of these people into customers on their new music streaming service remains to be seen.
In addition to these, Apple added a service it calls “Connect” which is designed to give artist a “one stop shop” experience where they can upload stuff like photos and lyrics to songs. This can then be shared on other social media sites directly as well as the artist’s own website. Fans are not left out the Connect experience as well. They can interact directly with favourite artists using the comment, Like and share tools
How Apple hopes to dominate this “expanding ” market
With the fast expanding market as seen below, what are Apple’s plans to move up “quickly in the streaming ladder/ Well one is the “Connect” we discussed earlier but when content increases and you need to easily sift through the database, do you just use the regular search? Apple is now integrating Siri for advanced searching. This means you can now voice search artists, tracks and albums which saves you a lot of time eventually. More interestingly, you can use your voice search to look up songs on the chart in your favourite genres. You can also look up music from geographical areas of choice. So hopefully in your next update you may see this and this takes us to the next major announcement which is the iOS 9.
Finally on iPad, there’s going to be multitasking. This is currently obtainable on Android tablets like Samsung tablets where you can carry out different tasks in different windows. How this is just being launched on Apple’s iPads beats me though because it’s always been an “obvious limitation. Well this is a classic case of better late than never.
A piece of good news on iOS 9, battery life can now be improved by up to an hour of what is obtainable on iOS 8 versions. There’s going to be a single button that allows you switch to low-power mode which could add an additional three hours of battery life to your machine. This is a welcome news especially for people in areas where power supply is not regular or for people who have to be on the move always without access to charging points.
The availability date is July but general availability would be towards the end of the year.
iOS 9 will be available as a public beta in July and available to everyone in the fall.
Other announcements includes a more intelligent Siri
Opportunities and challenges for Apple’s new streaming service
According to Digital music news which took a look at the growth of music streaming service between 2008 and 2013, streaming revenue surpassed the $1b value within that period while there were about 28 million paying music streaming subscribers. Now the interesting thing is that growth between 2012 and 2013 was phenomenal. the figure was 20 million in 2012 and by 2013, that figure rose to 28 million. Spotify alone says it now has about 15 million registered music streaming subscriber even though we don’t have a figure for how many of them are paying customers. In Nigeria, there are a couple of such services like Gidi Lounge, Wynk from Airtel among others. Gidi Lounge for example says it streams to nearly six millions listeners on average monthly.
Apple on the other hand already has a wide user base and team of loyal superstars which can actually be a huge opportunity for the company. This market is rapidly becoming popular not just in the developed world but many emerging economies like most African countries.
In the chart above, the streaming market is projected to have about 100 million subscribers with a project revenue of about $5b by 2020 and there lies the opportunity for Apple and other companies looking to enter into this market.
Problems of free downloads and piracy from other sources is projected to also take its toll on overall revenue over time.