Friday, November 22, 2019

Music streaming apps that are going to survive

Pandora is continuing to fade, not grow. Their new subscription service seems to be too little, too late. Tidal has never gained a following and will go under or be bought at some point soon. Amazon doesn’t care that much about building a competitive music service, just a Prime add-on. Google keeps trying to be a player in the market, but they really don’t seem to care that much about music; they abandon each service instead of investing. Google doesn’t really seem to be serious about being competitive in the space.
It’s really going to come down to Apple and Spotify. Apple is serious about music and wants to win. Apple can leverage its platforms to gain users. However, I still think this battle is Spotify’s to lose for a few reasons:
  1. Apple doesn’t innovate in software very quickly. It is always a fast follower, but Spotify is built around delivering innovation quickly and consistently. Apple can’t keep up Spotify’s pace.
  2. While Apple is a much larger company, Spotify has several times more developers focused on music.
  3. Apple still can’t seem to figure out how to deliver services. Spotify is a world-class expert in building and scaling services.
  4. Apple is years behind Spotify on algorithmic recommendation.
  5. Apple is about selling iPhones. Support for Apple Music on other platforms will always be lackluster or non-existant. iOS/OSX are still minority platforms. Spotify will never get beat while it is the only real player on the majority platforms.
There are a lot of other reasons, and Spotify can still screw things up, but if they continue to execute, it will be very hard for Apple to beat them. Catch them, maybe. Eliminate them, never.
I’m surprised that you left Tencent or Baidu off the list. They are growing quickly in China and could quickly eclipse Spotify and Apple combined in users before they even go international. That is where the next round of competition may be

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