he first-generation iPod appeared 15 years ago, ushering in the age of MP3s and downloading, and fundamentally altering the music industry in ways that are still being felt today (not to mention energising Apple and preparing the world for the rise of the smartphone). While digital music players had existed since the late ’90s, the iPod’s success popularised the technology and led to a seismic shift in how music is accessed. Today, we are in the midst of another change in how we consume music. More and more people are abandoning owning files, just as they left behind physical media, and subscribing to music streaming services that let them access millions of songs without having to actually buy a single one. As these services battle it out for our attention, our data and our cash, we take a look at what the biggest players are offering, and how they sit in the existing app ecosystem.
Apple Music Apple’s iTunes service was key to the rise of digital music, and its expansion over the years helped introduce concepts like the App Store to consumers, as smartphones began to overtake dedicated digital music players. However, as customers moved over to streaming services, Apple understood the need for a new offering that stood apart from its existing music download channel, so Apple Music was born. The service had its genesis in Beats Music, the music streaming platform created by Jimmy Iovine and rapper Dr Dre as part of their
Beats Electronics company. When Apple acquired Beats in 2014, Ian Rogers, Music CEO for Beats, was placed in charge of iTunes Radio, Apple’s existing (and underdeveloped) streaming platform. After months of rumours and
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