From The Plastic Hallway

“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.” -Hunter S. Thompson

Dropping Apples

October 9, 2015

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.” ~ Winston Churchill


Apple products, typically, just function properly.  They do what you expect them to do.


Their computers are easy to use.  The Mac, from its inception, was all about functionality. The iPod was so conceptually accessible that a toddler could use it.  The iPhone and iPad are both, duh, good ’n easy.  I love Apple products. 


So when Apple announced a proper foray into the streaming music space, I was stoked. Finally, someone was going to step toe-to-toe with Spotify and challenge them for streaming music supremacy.  The competition would be good for the music business overall, as Spotify and YouTube are running away with the streaming music market.


Which is why it is so disappointing that Apple Music, their vaunted streaming service, generally, blows.


Apple Music is not easy to use.  The platform is confusing and, when it launched, was loaded with annoying bugs and glitches.  The consensus among Apple users and tech smarties was, “fuck this shit”: http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-music-has-big-problems-2015-7

 

 And so now, Apple has perception issues, from casual consumers to shareholders: http://www.thestreet.com/story/13227615/1/why-its-time-to-sell-your-apple-shares.html

 
My disappointment has now evolved into a white-hot rage over the streaming service situation.  I mean, really?  This was the best that we could do?  Our answer to the poor Spotify payouts and YouTube AdRev label thievery was a half-baked, buggy, poorly constructed application that confused consumers AWAY from using it.  Currently the situation in recorded music is dire, and Noble Steed Music, like so many record companies, is truly reliant upon the revenue generated by iTunes digital music sales. These sales are eroding, also duh: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/01/buying-music-is-so-over/384790/


In examining the big picture, not all is lost.  Apparently people are consuming more music than ever, and enjoying it when coupled with video content: http://www.techhive.com/article/2945004/streaming-music-consumption-is-exploding-with-music-videos-leading-the-way.html


So, shouldn’t the top streaming platform be a blend of music and video?  Don’t we have that already in YouTube?


Fuck.  Yeah, I guess we do.  But how are music listeners supposed to use YouTube as a discovery vehicle?  How can people find out about new stuff?  Is it Pandora?  Is it SiriusXM?  Is it curated playlists?  Is it via social media?


Sure, it’s all of that stuff.  And more.  But not via Apple Music and certainly not via the current Beats One.  Massively disappointing.  For an industry seeking hope, the failure of Apple Music, for now, is a huge setback.

 
C’mon Apple, figure this out, we need ya: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DnRso9UGkA 

 

 

 

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