News came today that Apple is planning a major revamp of Apple Music at its Worldwide Developer Conference in June. This is welcome news for sure. While the service has improved considerably since its introduction, there are still some things that need to addressed—hopefully, this is it.
However, there are some lessons I hope Apple learned from last year’s introduction.
Leave the celebrities at home
This is a developer conference, not a gala event where you can show off all the celebrities you know in the industry. Don’t talk to the first two rows of the audience like you did last year—talk to the 5,000 developers that paid to be there and the millions of customers watching from home.
Listening to Drake stumble his way through a speech about how great Apple is does nothing to help your cause with Apple Music. Most people in that room don’t care—or we don’t care as much as you seem to—we want to see a product that works.
Focus on the product
Showing two dozen screenshots of Pharrell also does nothing for your audience. That crowd wants to hear about the product and how you’ve improved it. They want to know about the APIs that are going to help them build products.
Apple is a great product company, but the first version of Apple Music chipped away a lot of trust people had—that will be difficult to get back, but with a laser focus on the product, it can be done.
I think we can be honest and admit you released Apple Music when it wasn’t ready. There were just too many bugs for it to be any other way, but you did it regardless.
Developers and consumers want to know you heard us—that you took our criticisms to heart and you fixed the problems.
I don’t mind a public beta of Apple Music that is being worked on, but don’t walk on that stage and tell me it’s a finished, working product if it isn’t.
The amount of trust and loyalty you’ll lose with another round of broken Apple Music will be mind boggling.
Beauty and respect
Ultimately, we want to see the same dedication you have for your hardware products brought to Apple Music. Hardware works. It’s beautifully designed, elegant, and thoughtful. That’s what you need to show us with Apple Music at WWDC.
Show your developers, customers, and musicians the respect they deserve. We’re paying for this service and we want it to work. We will support your efforts to make it the best service in the world.
Just don’t take us for granted again.