Apple's announcement that it is to enter the music streaming industry points towards the way we will access music in the years ahead. But how will it fit into the sector, and what does it mean for those brands already occupying that space?
Spotify is the major presence in the market at present. It has 20m paying subscribers, as well as 55m users who stream songs for free but have to listen to adverts intermittently.
However, problems do exist. Arguments around royalties is one major issue. Artists including Radiohead and Taylor Swift have removed their material from the service altogether and rival service Tidal has been set up by stars like Jay-Z and Beyonce.
Our BrandIndex data currently shows a positive picture for Spotify. In the US, its Impression Metric score currently stands at around nine. In the UK, the score is a more healthy 17.
Apple has also announced a 24 hour radio station which will complement the service. It includes presenters such as Zane Lowe, an ex-Radio 1 DJ. Radio 1 is a broadcaster that will also be threatened by Apple’s move. Ratings are down for the station, particularly its breakfast show. BBC bosses are said to be content as it shows its focus on the 16-24 year old group is working.
YouGov data reiterates this – 18-24 year olds have a better impression of Radio 1 (average of 24 since March) than the all respondents group (five). The question is whether this group will leave Radio 1 and move to Apple.
Of course, the product offered may matter less than overall brand power.
With basic similarities between providers, Apple will be hoping customer loyalty and perception drives existing iTunes users to the new platform, as well as convincing current rival subscribers to move.
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