Apple has just put the world of music streaming on its head. In its most significant move since the announcement of Apple Music in 2015, the company is democratizing access to high-quality digital music at no additional charge.
The big thing with the announcement of Apple Music with Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos with Lossless Audio is that news subscribers will not see any increase in their monthly bill. It will still be £ 9.99 per month, no matter which way you want to listen. This is a staggering addition to the value proposition.
As it did a few years ago with upgrading everyone’s movies from HD-to-4K, Apple is not asking anyone to pay more for the best available quality. Your Apple Music experience will be the best for your audio device and data connection. You’ll still need some excellent audio equipment to promote audiophile-grade, studio quality music, but the opportunity is from next month.
Tidal wave goodbye
Just like Apple has taken forward the business model of some existing players. Just a penny for tide ideas? Can it continue to charge £ 20 a month when Apple is charging a tenor? In doing so, Apple has basically used its entire strategy. Does Spotify HiFi dare not follow suit and give premium customers the same privileges without increasing the price? Amazon already noticed that the writing was on the wall and dropped the price of its HiFi offering. Your move, Spotify!
Part of Apple’s great power is its ability to shape entire industries into its image and has done it again. Existing players adapt or die and it is going to happen here again. If it does not follow suit then I do not like Tidal opportunities.
Is not it ironic?
Two decades ago, Apple launched a music revolution that prioritized the feature over audio fidelity in a highly unbalanced manner. For at least 10 years, the move towards digital music meant a sacrifice for mainstream consumers. Those highly compressed MP3 files were a rare step backwards in the constant forward motion of modern technology.
When we all bought iPods, our music suddenly sounded much worse than the compact discs we had collected. But the payment was probably worth it. We put enough music in their pocket to fill the living room shelf on a small hard drive and absolutely loved it.
Now Apple is promising all this. Featuring 75 million songs at 16-bit / 44.1kHz in the palm of your hand, all the way to hi-res lossless files at 24-bit / 192kHz. New lossless offer Will start Basically playable on all Apple devices at CD-quality, and gets better from there. The circle is complete, it took just 20 years to do it.
The benefits do not end here. We’ve seen how effective Apple’s AirPods range can be when providing spatial audio for movies and TV shows, and now the company is bringing it to music, promising support for immersive Dolby Atmos technology. We are excited to give it a try and imagine the experience like the music festivals that we have missed so much over the last one year.
Of course, Apple is not doing so at the mercy of its heart. It knows that this can be a major battle in the music streaming war. It knows that customers are likely to see influx due to the friendliness of the price point. It knows that the Apple One subscription bundle looks even more attractive now.
Yet we cannot see immediate effect. Lossless audio is still a typical proposition at this stage. Most customers of music streaming will be more than happy with the current quality on offer, may not be able to tell the difference between the other two standards.
However, the fact is, Apple is once again pushing the envelope from a technical standpoint, without the premium we’re expecting.