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Apple Music will dominate with the power of the preinstalled app

Jason Snell | June 18, 2015
Apple's current Notes and Maps apps aren't as good as their competitors, yet they're used far more. Why? Because they're there.

Except Apple's going to put access to its streaming service on every iOS device. And what's more, Apple's going to give everyone a three-month trial to explore what it feels like to have hundreds of thousands of music tracks available to you with a couple of taps. It doesn't necessarily follow that Apple is going to demolish Spotify and its ilk, but if Apple Maps can end up with 3.5 times the users as Google Maps, it's not unreasonable to guess that Apple Music might end up being the dominant subscription music service on iOS.

(It'll be a tougher road on Android, but the fact that Apple Music will be available on Android is a sign of the company's larger ambitions here.)

Then there's the insidious nature of services that make your life more convenient. It might be tough for Apple to make Spotify users to switch to Apple Music, but what about the millions of people who haven't ever tried a music subscription service before? They'll have access to a streaming library, many for the first time, and some percentage of them will find that it's not an extravagance after all. Instead, they'll come to find it essential--and when the trial period ends, they'll be there to give Apple a little bit more of their money. (This is how Amazon Prime got me, by the way.)

So is Apple Music a surefire hit? Absolutely not. But if you listened closely to the WWDC keynote last week, it was clear that Apple is well aware of the power it wields by choosing what software is built in to every one of its devices, apps that are ever-present and undeleteable. Couple that with a summer-long free trial, and I sure wouldn't bet against it.


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