Silicon Valley, great show. You should check it out…
Anyway, yes, Internet radio is one of three standout features in the forthcoming Apple Music app for iOS—along with a streaming music service and Connect, billed as a virtual backstage pass to your favourite artist.
The app is apparently coming to Android as well, something we’ve not seen since iTunes first came to Windows computers way back when. So I guess it’s a big deal—unless, of course, you’re one of those people who’s not already on board with the idea of paying a monthly subscription fee to listen to music.
It’s partly a question of value, or lack thereof. 99¢ a song from the iTunes Music Store could almost be considered an impulse purchase; an ongoing monthly charge of $9.99 for Apple Music? Not so much. That does seem to be the going rate for music streaming these days, but compared to the countless hours of high-bandwidth video that you’d get from Netflix it seems overpriced.
Maybe I’m showing my age… I do like music and enjoy listening to it a lot, but it hopefully won’t surprise you too much when I say that the last Taylor Swift album was not a defining moment of my life. It might well have been a different story when I was a teenager, when my musical tastes had a more direct correlation to my social circle. Then again, I didn’t have ten bucks a month to throw away on a streaming music subscription, either. And we’re right back to the value argument.
For me music has become a commodity, like air—freely available from a multitude of sources, legal and not. Free music for my smartphone is perhaps less plentiful, but solutions do exist; Deezer and TuneIn Radio are two apps that I’ve used personally. To be honest, though, the bulk of my mobile listening is to podcasts, which of course are also free.
All this is ultimately only to say that no, I won’t be paying for Apple Music. How about you?