Apple Inc. (AAPL) Attacks Spotify, Shows Kindness to Android Users


Apple Inc. has an interesting and long history of putting music at the center of its marketing strategy to sell devices. The late Steve Jobs brokered an infamous deal with the Beatles about one decade ago to sell the iPod and the firm has used music with great efficiency to sell its later devices. Now, the firm is hoping to use music as a springboard to sell iPhones to people within the rival Android OS ecosystem and the plan seems to be working.  Apple Music on Android now has more than 10 million downloads.

The iPhone maker has been struggling with the reality of declining iPhone sales and the firm has been finding ways to attract new buyers and to make more money from current owners in order to keep margins intact. One of the firm’s strategies for attracting new iPhone buyers and making money off old users is to offer mouth-watering services. For instance, buying a new iPhone entitles you to 2 years of iCloud before you start paying. More so, Apple Music starts with a free 3-month subscription irrespective of whether you are on iOS or Android.

Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone

Apple Music on Android by the numbers

On Monday, Apple Music on Android crossed the 10 million-download threshold on Google Play store. Google Play store doesn’t provide exact number on app downloads but the number of  installs currently sits between 10 million and 50 million – the number of installs was between 5 million and 10 million last week.  10 million app installs doesn’t really look imposing; after all, Angry Birds has between 100 million and 500 million installs.

However, the fact that an app created originally for iOS could get as much as 10 million installs among Android users within 10 months suggests that Apple ‘s appeal extends far beyond the shores of iPhone fandom. Interestingly, the Android app sports a similar design, UI, and features setup to its iOS sibling.

Many observers have noted that the iPhone maker might have a hard time converting users to paying subscribers after their three-month trial on the music streaming service ends. However, the firm is gradually getting a foothold in the music streaming industry. Its music stream app boasted 15 million paying subscribers during the WWDC 2016 that held in June. By comparison, Spotify enjoys the first-mover advantage in the music-streaming industry had 30 million paying consumers at the same period.

Could personalized playlists attract more users?

2 months ago, Apple Inc. was vilified as a bully when news broke that it rejected an update to Spotify’s iOS app. Many critics considered the move a malicious move designed to make it hard for Spotify to compete with Apple Music on iOS.  However, the firm doesn’t need to be a bully to compete effectively against Spotify in the music streaming industry, if its music-streaming service delivers a better service than Spotify.

Delivering a better music-streaming service than Spotify is exactly what Apple Music aims to achieve.  Now, Apple Music users can enjoy personalized music playlists. Apple’s “My New Music Mix” playlist is designed to compete with Spotify’s “Discover Weekly” and it offers a mix of 25 tracks that you might love based on your listening history. The firm has deeper pockets than Spotify and the iPhone maker should naturally have a stronger R&D team. Hence, Apple Music might be catching up on Spotify if its selection algorithm does a better job than Spotify in finding tracks you’ll love.

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Victor Alagbe is a seasoned business and finance writer with a specialty in writing about how to invest for the long-term in healthcare, pharmacology, energy and tech stocks. His long-term focus is on stocks that provide a nice mix of growth and income. For the short term, he passionately writes about trading stock options for the excitement and leverage that stock options offer.

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