Where Apple Music is headed in 2020

Sophie Charara, Wired UK:

Apple doesn’t break out Beats 1 monthly listening figures; various commentators have speculated they are relatively low, the official line is “tens of millions”. What we do know is that one of Lowe’s priorities is to merge the two elements of Apple’s £9.99 a month Music offering: its Spotify-style streaming service and the Beats 1 radio shows.


When it comes to someone like Billie Eilish, who now has her own Beats 1 show, the Apple Music team realised that their pre-adds, which allow users to register their interest in an album before it’s out, had made people more invested in her March 2019 album When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

It turns out users are four times more likely to complete an album if they’d pre-added it to their collection, 1.5 times more likely to listen to it again and they listen to music four times longer than other Apple Music subscribers. In short, Apple is trying to build a better hype machine than its rivals to counteract the popular, but depersonalised playlists that have come to dominate music streaming.


Data from music analytics firm BuzzAngle shows the top 25 artists accounted for 11 per cent of total streams in the US in 2018, and artists still need hundreds of thousands of plays a month to start making the equivalent of minimum wage. In Digital Music News’ December 2018 analysis of streaming service payouts, it found that Pandora pays the highest royalty rates with Apple Music in third place with an estimated $0.00735 per stream, ahead of Spotify at an estimated $0.00437 a stream, which has at least been moving in the right direction in recent years.

These are just a few nuggets from a long and interesting read, with quotes from Beats Radio Creative Director Zane Lowe and head of Apple Music Oliver Schusser.