Is the web version of Apple Music driving backwards?


Editor’s Note: This article is from WeChat public account “PingWest product play” (ID: wepingwest), author Li Hezi, 36 氪 authorized to release.No music streaming will be like Apple Music, because of the release of a web version of the application and has received widespread attention.On September 6, Apple Music launched a web version of the beta.The PingWest product experience found that in addition to the case of jumping to Apple’s official website when opened in China, the Apple Music webpage beta version basically covers the main functions of the App, and the user experience is not too compromised.This means that even if the user’s mobile phone is not around and there is no iTunes on the computer, you can just open the browser to use Apple Music – whether you are an Android, iPhone, MacBook or PC user.Maybe there is nothing exciting about this one. Now, whether it is domestic QQ music, Netease cloud music, or foreign Spotify and other music streaming media, you already have your own web version, and now you can listen to it on mobile devices.There are more and more people singing, and Apple Music is now launching a web version. Isn’t it a history of reversing?To answer this question, we must first mention that Apple’s ecology is criticized by people: it is not open enough.Apple has long been known for its unique ecosystem and has maintained its competitive edge.Although he has never admitted his “closed”, the Apple ecosystem does give such an impression and has become a label on the brand by people.In March of this year, Apple Music’s biggest competitor, Spotify, accused the European Union of unfair competition, accusing the App Store of being too high, and facilitating its own Apple Music service by suppressing its rivals.This war of words was fierce. Spotify even made a website called “Time To Play Fair” to cover Apple’s “criminal evidence”. Apple issued a solemn statement on the official website, emphasizingThe legitimacy of the App Store fee: As stated by Spotify, in the first year of the annual subscription, Apple’s income is 30%.But they ignore the fact that the revenue share for the next few years will fall to 15%.▲Spotify’s “Time To Play Fair” website for protesting against Apple Music’s website can be traced back to 2011. When the App Store was just launched, the MP3 download software Napster (also called “Rhapsody” at the time) called Apple “from the stream”.It is extremely unreasonable to extract the share of subscriptions from media services.”In this regard, streaming media such as iHeartRadio and SoundCloud have chosen to increase the membership price to compensate for the middleman price difference caused by Apple; Spotify tries to bypass the App Store and direct users to their official website to purchase members.Although Apple has given sufficient rationality to its own practices, the fees are real, plus the increasingly expensive music royalty in Europe and America in recent years (the 2018 US Copyright Commission CRB intends to increase the music royalty year by year in 2018-2022,The increase was as high as 43.8%) and Apple Music’s growth momentum, other music streaming media did not protest.In other words, Apple’s pressure due to lack of openness will inevitably exist. By relying on charging competitors to consolidate its competitive advantage, it is not a long-term solution. Apple Music can’t stay in its own “comfort zone” – WanWhat day does the charge not work?On the other hand, the continued decline in Apple hardware sales has also led the company to focus more on software services such as Apple Music.From the income of Apple’s recent three fiscal years, hardware sales have already shown signs of decline. The annual sales growth of Mac is not strong, and the iPad has even declined year by year.In Q1 this year, iPhone sales revenue decreased by 15% compared with the same period of last year, but service revenue reached the highest level of 10.9 billion US dollars, an increase of 19% over the same period last year.This is also the reason why Apple has rarely released any hardware products at this spring’s conference. It only launched a series of new services such as Apple News+ and Apple Arcade, and the music, podcasts and TV content that were originally collected in iTunes will be independent.come out.At the just-concluded autumn product launch, Apple also officially announced the pricing and launch time for Apple Arcade and Apple TV+ services.What must be seen is that Apple spends so much energy to promote and build these services, and to a large extent is also the need to revitalize hardware sales.As a service product deeply integrated in the Apple ecosystem, Apple Music’s mission is not to make profit as its primary goal.Last year, Tim Cook said that music is not for making money, not to mention that the profitability of music streaming media is already a global problem – look at Spotify, which has not yet achieved profitability, and Tencent, which supports earnings by live broadcast business.Entertainment will know.So, the way to rely on Apple Music to drive hardware users is to make it more open, in order to attract more users to buy and buy.In addition to launching the web version, another example of opening Apple Music is in August this year, Apple introduced Google’s Chromecast content in the Apple Music beta on Android, and Apple Music on Android phones detected the same Wi-Fi environment.There are Chromecast devices (such as Home Mini, Home Hub, etc.), there will be a familiar content button, click and select, the device can play the songs in Apple Music.External competitive pressures and internal hardware sales pressures have forced Apple to try to change Apple Music’s operational logic.This launch of the web version is exactly what the web page can lower the experience threshold for new users.This is like adapting to the WeChat applet used by domestic users. Compared with downloading an app that uses hardware memory, more people are more willing to choose to open the WeChat applet directly.▲ “Musish” is an unofficial web version of Apple Music licensed under Apple’s official API.Apple has been opening the Apple Music API for other developers to develop third-party Apple Music web players.Naturally, the web version of Apple Music satisfies the primary needs of users listening to songs. After completing this first step to attract new users, Apple Music’s next step is to retain users by user experience.This is probably not difficult for Apple Music.Adding a background here, unlike the domestic ones, there are not too many music library competitions in several major music streaming platforms abroad. Whether it is Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube Music or Amazon Music, their music library size isWith about 50 million songs, the competition for user experience has already begun.The strength of Apple Music is its UI design and manual editing, which is consistent with the logic of many other Apple products that appeal to users.Many people who like Apple Music are because of its simple interface and prefer to focus on listening to music (also related to its paid subscription strategy); in the understanding of Tim Cook, Apple Music can winThe reason for the user is that it adds an important element of “people” to the services it provides. Apple Music, which is recommended by real people for editing, is naturally more aware of its audience than the cold algorithm.As for the more professional audience, they may still value the sound quality of Apple Music.Not long ago, the media reported that Apple Music began to integrate its lossless music resources.This tradition originated from the era of iTunes download. As early as 2012, Apple introduced a music encoding process to music producers that can achieve the lossless music standard, to ensure that the sound quality downloaded by users in iTunes can meet the high requirements of music production.So back to the web version launched by Apple Music on September 6th, this is a retreat for many people, but it is a kind of advancement in Apple’s strategic considerations.Of course, when Apple Music can consider improving the local experience of Chinese users is even better..