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Apple Music isn't revolutionary, but it might help launch the next big thing

Michael Simon | July 3, 2015
Apple Music is hardly the world’s first streaming service. It might not even be the best. But it also doesn’t feel like a 1.0 product.

I could see Apple making similar splashy purchases to fill other holes in its portfolio of products. With more money than it can possibly spend, Apple can easily afford go on a shopping spree without taking on much risk at all. Even multi-billion dollar acquisitions of companies like Twitter, Netflix, or Square are no longer off the table. Any one of them would work extremely well under Apple's umbrella, expanding its ecosystem and bringing new worlds of entertainment and communication into the fold.

Buying in 

Where the iTunes Music Store fundamentally changed our relationship with music, paving the way for the proliferation of Spotify, Rdio, and others, the most groundbreaking thing about Apple Music is how it was born. Apple studied the landscape and bought a company that had the pieces it needed--it may have momentarily skated to where the puck was, but it was only to hit it further up the ice. 

With the launch of Apple Music, Apple has made a product that's distinctly theirs by building on the groundwork Beats had already laid. It's more than a rebranding: The core technology may be built on the strong foundation it bought, but the way it is incorporated into the existing services is Apple's gambit. All things being equal, I don't know why an iPhone user would stick with Spotify.

Apple Music is certainly a very nice service. But its eventual paying subscribers won't just be paying for millions of songs. They'll be investing in the next step.


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