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SEPTEMBER 2016

ANALYSIS

As subscription-based streaming services take over the world, Tim Maytom asks how the biggest apps in the mobile music space are differentiating themselves from the competition

anticipation, Apple Music was launched on 30 June 2015. The service offers over 35m songs and thousands of playlists, with personalised recommendations for users, plus the Beats 1 radio station, a 24-hour broadcast led by DJ Zane Lowe. Among the exclusive releases the service has seen are Views From the 6 by Drake, which released on Apple Music a week ahead of other platforms, and 1989 by Taylor Swift, who has had a contentious relationship with streaming services in the past. Swift criticised Apple Music for not offering artists royalties during its three-month free trial but has since – after Apple changed its policy – endorsed and even starred in adverts for the service. Apple Music has quickly amassed users, especially thanks to its three-month trial period which saw many consumers sign up and, in many cases, simply forget to switch off. The service charges $9.99 a month for membership, or households can purchase

a family plan for multiple devices and users for $14.99 (£11.35) a month. The last confirmed figures from Apple give the service over 15m subscribers in over 100 countries. While this is hardly the largest service we’re looking at, the speed at which Apple Music has hit this figure is truly impressive, with early numbers suggesting the service is adding subscribers at a rate of around 2m a month, even a year after launching. Clearly, Apple Music aims to take up the throne that iTunes has so recently vacated, as the premier platform of the new age of music consumption.

Relaunching as Deezer in 2007, it still focused on streaming but also enabled users to buy tracks via iTunes. Deezer grew rapidly over the next few years, establishing deals

Deezer Paris-based streaming service Deezer was originally developed by Daniel Marhely in 2006, and was called Blogmusik in its initial incarnation. The service was intended to give users unlimited access to music via streaming technology, but soon ran into issues over copyright infringement.

with major record labels and reaching 7m users after just over two years of operations. In addition to investment, Deezer supported itself by running ads, managed through its own ad agency, Deezer Media, as well as introducing an ad-free subscription model. However, the subscription model

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Mobile Marketing September 2016