What you need to know
- Apple Music's Zane Lowe and Oliver Schusser talked to Wired about the future of the service.
- One of the main focuses is on integrating Beats 1 more with Apple Music as a whole, leading to more livestreaming.
- Apple Music also wants to expand live music content and focus on an "artist first" approach.
Apple Music has been on a torrid pace over the last year, reaching the 60 million subscriber mark in the process. But as Apple's original streaming service looks ahead, it has a few new things it wants to do. That much was revealed by Apple Music's Zane Lowe and Oliver Schusser in an in-depth interview with Wired.
One place the transition will start is with the integration of Beats 1 with Apple Music.
"I want more people to listen and discover this stuff," says Lowe. "And I want to integrate what we do at Beats 1 into Apple Music more thoroughly. I would guess there are still subscribers who don't realise Elton John has done over 200 shows. Those shows are works of art in their own right."
Schusser revealed the transition is already underway with the rebranding of some of Apple Music's most popular playlists.
The idea is also to amplify what Apple thinks no-one is doing with Lowe promising "some big new names" for Beats 1 hosts, alongside lead DJs Julie Adenuga and Ebro Darden, in the next few months. What's interesting is that Beats 1 is now documenting the creative process in real time, with Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig discussing the album /Father of the Bride/ pre- and post-launch on his twice monthly /Time Crisis/ show. Lowe would argue that the shows are even interacting with the music that's produced by these artists.
Apple Music will also try to expand upon the live content it already offers.
Meanwhile, Apple has put on gigs for emerging musicians in stores throughout 2019, and Schusser says the company wants to do more live events in the next 12 months. While there are no official plans for a relaunch, he says, "We never retired the iTunes Festival. We paused it."
A big focus of Apple Music's approach is focusing on "artist first."
Apple's self-proclaimed "artist first" strategy is at odds with Spotify's "fan first" marketing but both are vying to make their platforms more amenable to anyone outside the big names. So Apple Music for Artists has come out of beta, sharing data on iTunes, Apple Music and Shazam activity and competing with Spotify for Artists. "We think artists should get paid," says Schusser, "and we're adding more credits to songwriters, not just artists. We think the decision not to do a free tier has really paid off, after four years. We don't think music should be free."
The entire Wired piece is truly enlightening and worth a read.