More than ever, people shut-in because of the coronavirus outbreak are relying on streaming content on their phones and tablets to provide them with a more customized entertainment experience. The top two music streaming apps worldwide and in the U.S. are Spotify and Apple Music. At last count, Apple has a slight lead on Spotify in the number of paid subscribers in the U.S. Spotify has a 2 to 1 advantage over Apple in global market share (again, paid subscribers only).
According to 9to5Mac, Apple is now delivering a new notification inside the Apple Music app when it has added certain new releases to the Apple Music library. It would appear from the image that accompanies this story that this notification will appear in the Library tab when an artist that you like releases new music and videos. To enable this feature, open Apple Music and tap on "For You" in the bottom toolbar. On the upper right of the display, you'll find your avatar. Tap on it to get to the Account menu. Click on Notifications and you will see two toggles: New Music and Show in Library. Toggle both on to receive in-app notifications of new releases from artists you like.
Apple Music is part of Apple's huge Services unit that is running at an annual rate of $50 billion in revenue
While Apple has offered such notifications highlighting new music and videos available from a subscriber's fave artists, this is the first time that it is being done in-app. And while there has often been a lag between the release of new material and the receipt of a notification, we hold out some hope that with the new feature, Apple will provide this information in a more timely fashion.
The success of Apple Music relates to the company's MO when it comes to acquisitions. Sure, the company could buy a huge outfit like Disney for $170 billion, but this is not how Apple does things. Instead of huge splashy transactions, the tech giant typically finds small companies under the radar. These outfits usually have a niche product that Apple wants to use on the iPhone or another device within the next year or two. A good example of that is the 2012 purchase of biometric firm AuthenTec for $356 million. A year later, the iPhone 5s was introduced with the Touch ID fingerprint scanner.
The most money that Apple ever spent for an acquisition was the $3 billion it paid to acquire Beats Audio in May, 2014. Apple has greatly benefited from this deal since it does offer a line of Beats headphones. But the real reason for buying Beats was for its Beats Audio streaming service that Apple wanted to turn into Apple Music. At the time that the purchase was announced, Beats Audio had only 111,000 paying customers leading many analysts to state that Apple overpaid for the entire firm. But by one ballpark estimate, Apple Music is generating over $6.5 billion in revenue annually. It is part of Apple's growing Services unit which is now running at a $50 billion annual rate.
While Apple Music is raking in the cash, most analysts say that it is not yet turning a profit. Apple offers consumers a three-month free trial after which it charges individuals $9.99 a month for a subscription ($99 for a year). Students with a valid school email address pay $4.99 per month while a Family plan costs $14.99 monthly and covers a family of up to six people. If you have a Verizon unlimited data plan, the carrier will give you six months of Apple Music for free. If you don't cancel the service before the six months is up, you'll be charged the individual rate of $9.99 per month after the free period expires.