Now that we’ve situated Apple, none of this news would imply a sudden change to Apple Music’s basic product. I doubt they’ll be any price change or core feature adjustment—though I’d be shocked in the 2020s if music streaming holds at $10 a month. My own speculation is that Apple Music will slowly just be rolled into a larger Apple services bundle with potential TV streaming, storage, etc. That way “paying” for Apple Music essentially is just part of the experience of owning an iPhone at certain point. Now this is an idea I’ve held onto for a little while, but a little bit of recent Apple news is making me wonder a little about that proposition.
On Sunday it was revealed that you’ll be able to directly buy Apple content using a Samsung television. Essentially now opening up Apple’s content outside of the Apple TV context and freeing it up to a potentially new market. To quote the Verge
The iTunes Movies and TV Shows app, which will be available in 100 countries on both Samsung’s 2019 TVs as well as its 2018 models (after a firmware update), marks the first time Apple has allowed third-party devices to access its video library outside of Windows PCs. It could also be a prelude to a video streaming service
that Apple is currently rumored to be working on — which is tellingly also reported to be coming to 100 countries
Now Apple Music was already available on Android, so this isn’t entirely new territory, but it does make me think again that whatever does happen with Apple’s music products can offer a glimpse into future directions. It’s for that reason I’d like to end with chatting about the actual Apple Music app experience, which I wrote about last year.
When I opened the app recently I was reminded how it remains a cluttered mess. Typically I just search for the music I want, so I avoid the overwhelming feeling of swimming in advertisements, not music recommendations, once you hit the home screen. Compared to any other music app, Apple Music feels designed to baffle the consumer before ever arriving at any music. Still what’s more frustrating is that I really like Apple Music’s curatorial taste, however nearly four years after the product’s launch it doesn’t feel like much effort is placed in championing that fact.
Apple Music will continue exist, raking in subscribers all while further locking people into the Apple ecosystem. Yet I’d love to see the product do or aspire to do more. Though at this point expecting such from any western music streaming platform remains in the realm of hope.