Endgame: Apple vs Spotify

We’re overwhelmed by more messages in one day than we can consume in a lifetime.

So, how can you break through?

Forget hollow slogans and phony hype. How you will make my life better? Be authentic and make an emotional connection. Make me laugh, or cry, or think. Capture my imagination. Seduce me without being obvious. Inspire me to share.

Like Spotify did.

When news of this streaming music service broke, it hit like a pebble breaking the surface of a pond. Music fans were rabid for Spotify. Despite no formal advertising, the buzz took on a life of its own. Spotify reverberated – the secret to getting noticed.

Nine years later, Apple followed with a me-too service. Even the name, Apple Music, is bland. But Apple flexed its muscle and elbowed its way into the streaming game. Today, Spotify has more users, while Apple has more paid subscribers. Spotify set the pace, but projects a $300 million loss this year. Meanwhile Apple is, well…Apple.

Here’s my take: Spotify has what Apple covets most: coolness. If Steve Jobs were alive, he’d know that Apple Music lacks the ‘must-have’ thrill that once hooked us on iPhones, iPads and iPods. I’ll bet he’d turbocharge Apple Music and force Spotify into a tailspin.

Jobs might…

  • Announce a new premium tier that leapfrogs Apple Music past Spotify. Bring fans behind the music with new features: artist videos, tour dates, concert tickets and merch.
  • Create new music ‘samplers’ featuring two-minute versions of the best rock, pop, country, hip-hop songs. Hear twice the tunes in half the time!
  • Relaunch the expanded service with a new name. More aspirational, like Pandora and Sirius. Offer free subscriptions for the first year.
  • Humanize Apple Music and give it a personality. Reposition Spotify as merely a robotic, digital jukebox.

But wait! Here comes Amazon Music. Drafting behind Alexa’s surging popularity, it’s outpacing both Apple and Spotify.  Game on!

Next week: I’d Give Them Away, But My Wife Won’t Let Me  

Beau Phillips is President of Rainmaker Media. 
He’s a creative marketing consultant, strategist and speaker.
Reach him at 203-256-9347   

4 thoughts on “Endgame: Apple vs Spotify”

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