Apple Music is in a very good place in 2022, but if it wants to keep climbing the ladder and really take on Spotify, there are three main options Apple has so as to add this 12 months. Because it presently stands, the music streaming market appears to be like quite a bit prefer it has for the previous couple of years. Spotify continues to be the primary service by an enormous margin. Apple Music is available in at a distant second place, with Amazon Music, YouTube Music, and different companies not far behind.
Though it nonetheless has a methods to go earlier than it sees Spotify-like subscriber numbers, 2021 was a largely constructive 12 months for Apple Music. This previous June, Apple launched lossless and spatial audio at no extra value to subscribers — one thing Spotify still hasn’t added almost a year after announcing plans to do so. Apple additionally added selection to its pricing choices with the $4.99/month Apple Music Voice Plan.
Trying forward at 2022, it is unclear what Apple Music will do subsequent. Apple’s confirmed plans to launch a devoted app for classical music this 12 months (as a part of its acquisition of Primephonic), however outdoors of that, it is anybody’s finest guess. As somebody who switched to Apple Music about six months in the past, I’ve few concepts of the place it will possibly enhance. Whereas there are numerous issues Apple Music does higher than its opponents, there are additionally a number of areas that must get addressed this 12 months.
Extra Personalised Playlists
Proper off the bat, let’s talk about personalized playlists. Because it stands as we speak, Apple Music customers get 5 ‘Made for you’ playlists based mostly on their listening — together with Mates Combine, Favorites Combine, Get Up Combine, Chill Combine, and New Music Combine. All of them work effectively sufficient. Every combine is up to date as soon as per week, the music alternatives are normally fairly good, they usually’re a simple approach to begin listening to one thing you may (most likely) like. Nevertheless, there’s way more Apple may very well be doing on this entrance.
Simply check out what Spotify provides. Spotify customers get six Every day Mixes, every up to date on daily basis and providing a definite type of music. These are additionally supplemented with a number of Style Mixes, Artist Mixes, Decade Mixes, and extra — all of which are based on your listening. By comparability, it makes Apple’s 5 weekly mixes look embarrassing.
The answer right here is fairly easy. If Apple took the Spotify components of getting six customized playlists, up to date them every day, and catered every one to a unique type of music, it might be a large improve over the present implementation. Tidal principally did this in 2018 when it launched My Mixes, and the service is objectively higher due to it. That is one thing Apple ought to have addressed years in the past, however because it hasn’t, it’d as effectively make 2022 the 12 months it lastly occurs.
Higher Integration With Third-Social gathering Providers
Apple’s at all times been a really closed-off firm. iMessage is one of the biggest iPhone exclusives, iPhones and Macs work seamlessly with one another, and AirPods solely work finest when paired with an Apple gadget. This locked-in ecosystem is nothing new from Apple, and it is not one thing more likely to change any time quickly.
However Apple has been way more lenient with its companies. Apple TV+ is out there on Roku and Google TV, iTunes is out there for Home windows, and Android customers can obtain an official Apple Music app with no hitch. It is a facet of Apple that is encouraging to see, however particularly with Apple Music, there’s room to make this even higher.
I not too long ago switched my dwelling from Google Assistant audio system to Alexa ones. It has been going nice to this point, and I used to be happy to see there was an Apple Music ability to bring all of my songs to my new Echo devices. Sadly, the combination is actually barebones. Alexa can play Apple Music songs simply advantageous, however something past that’s principally nonexistent. Apple Music would not help choices to love or dislike songs, add titles to a playlist, or see upcoming songs within the Alexa app. There are different issues, too. Apple Music can work higher with Google Assistant, get Discord integration just like Spotify, and extra. Apple has a number of room to enhance these third-party experiences, and it completely ought to use 2022 to do this.
Overhaul Apple Music Replay
Final however definitely not least, we have to speak about how dangerous Apple Music Replay is. Ever for the reason that first Spotify Wrapped debuted in 2016, the end-of-year recap has gotten higher with every launch. Spotify Wrapped 2021 was further proof of this. It confirmed Spotify customers what number of minutes they spent listening to music in 2021, their favourite albums/artists, high genres, and extra. It even added a number of interactive parts (reminiscent of a quiz about your listening and the choice to check Wrapped outcomes with different customers).
Apple did the identical factor it does yearly with Apple Music Replay. Customers received a playlist of their most listened to songs… and that is about it. Apple Music additionally created a barebones checklist of somebody’s high 10 albums and artists, however provided that they visited a selected web page on the Apple Music desktop website. It might appear foolish to complain this a lot about an end-of-year roundup, however the truth that Apple’s been so far behind Spotify for five years — and reveals to want to enhance issues — is exhausting. Apple has the information and the assets to make a wonderful end-of-year recap. Present individuals a bunch of stats about their yearly listening, put it collectively in a flashy package deal, add it to the cellular app, and name it a day. It isn’t that large of an ask, and it’d create numerous lacking goodwill between Apple Music and its userbase.
And that is just about it! I’ve completely loved my time with Apple Music since I joined in July 2021. The app has a clear interface, spatial audio’s been a game-changer, and there is a ton of worth available when bundling Apple Music with an Apple One plan. If Apple can handle these three issues, it might be principally excellent in my ebook. Whether or not or not this truly occurs is one other factor, however that is all as much as Apple to resolve.
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