Apple Music’s Anti-Social Social Network – Video

    Streaming Services

    Speaker 1: Apple has a hidden social network, although you won’t really hear Apple ever call it a social network. It’s tucked inside Apple Music. And yes, I do mean hidden because I have used Apple Music for years. But only this week did I discover Apple Music has an element where you can make a username and connect with other subscribers to see what they’re listening to. All this time, all this time, all this time, apple has long tried to make social networking a thing in its music services. And time and time again it falls flat. But [00:00:30] even if Apple isn’t flaunting this feature right now, there is no denying a social network is still woven into Apple Music. I poked around, I created a username and I found none of my friends to connect to even friends that I know use Apple Music. They didn’t have profiles I could connect to.

    Speaker 1: It gave me one more thing to ponder this week. What’s the reason Apple doesn’t want to do more with its Apple music? Social features? I’m Bria Carey, and this is one more thing. Let’s start with a little history. Apple Music [00:01:00] began as a one more thing eight years ago at wwdc. Apple Music came out as a reboot of iTunes and Apple really crammed all sorts of features into this streaming service that made recommendations based on what you like to listen to. It was a little like Spotify, but it also had live radio. There was a station called Beats One and there were playlists curated by employees and you could also pull up all your downloaded music in your library. And all of that is still around today, although the radio station was renamed [00:01:30] a few years ago from Beats to Apple Music One. However, what is not around today is something that was a major part of the Apple Music launch. It was called Connect as presented on stage by record executive and Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine. Apple Music Connect was a social network that’s centered around following your favorite musicians,

    Speaker 2: A fantastic way for established a new and even unsigned artist to connect directly with music lovers anywhere. [00:02:00] This is gonna be very powerful for musicians

    Speaker 1: Connect. Let musicians have a personal space to post short audio or video clips or lyrics or really whatever they wanted to post, and you the fan would follow the artist. This wasn’t a small feature of Apple Music. This was supposed to be one of the main standout features of the service. They even got Drake to talk about it.

    Speaker 3: Instead of having to post your stuff on all these different and sometimes confusing places, it all lives in one very simple, very easy [00:02:30] place, and that is Connect. I can’t wait to incorporate Apple Music and especially connect into what I’m doing next, but

    Speaker 1: Still it didn’t take off. Apple quietly shut Connect down three years later in 2018, perhaps because it wasn’t very social. It was a place for artists to broadcast to their fans. And from early reports, it seems like other users couldn’t connect with each other. This wasn’t the first time Apple did a network focused on artists. You may remember iTunes Ping, it was five years [00:03:00] before Apple Music in 2010. It also had users follow artists to see their posts, but that closed down two years later. So where are we today? Well, even though Apple Music Connect is gone, there are still Apple Music usernames and user profiles. And in Iowas 11, apple was starting to add a little bit more of social to Apple Music so you could share what you listen to with your friends, but just because you use Apple Music doesn’t mean you automatically have a username set up.

    Speaker 1: Now, I found [00:03:30] all of this because I was setting up a new iPhone to install the Iowa 17 public beta on it. So it was like a fresh iPhone setup, and when I opened the music app, I was prompted to make sure I had a username and to follow friends who share their playlists. So yeah, I’m now on there as Bridget’s Widgets. If you find me, you’ll just see that I binge the Barbie movie soundtrack piano renditions of Zelda songs. I am not a cool person to follow by any means, but I don’t care. I still like sharing some playlists I’ve made. And yes, you [00:04:00] can choose which one of your playlists are public to the world. With Apple Music, the people you follow can influence your choices in what music it suggests you to stream. It can show up as a friend’s mix. The only issue is that now that I want to find people, I can’t, I mean, I found some other tech reporters who wrote about this feature, but even people in my contacts list who I know have Apple Music, they’re not there.

    Speaker 1: If you click invite, you have to manually text them a link, and that’s just awkward. So in all [00:04:30] these years, apple never made an easy way to ask a friend to sign up. Apple Music is said to be the second most widely used music streaming service behind Spotify. And as a paying customer, it’s frustrating that Apple won’t just take the extra steps to make it more friendly for me to connect with my friends. Come on Patrick, be my friend. Join me in today’s texting scene. Apple obviously wants to stand apart from the dysfunctional Twitters and Facebook and Instagram [00:05:00] threads. Apple sells itself on privacy. So maybe Apple doesn’t really wanna do this social networking thing at all, but there is something worth keeping an eye on right now. Apple Music may be strong without being very social, but other services can take advantage of that weakness.

    Speaker 1: Earlier this month, TikTok Music launched as a music streaming service. TikTok partnered with major record labels like Universal Warner and Sony. It has song recommendations and personalized curation, and according to TechCrunch, it [00:05:30] helps people find songs that have gone viral on TikTok videos and create collaborative playlists. TikTok music also lets users interact with comments on songs and albums. So there’s some sprinkling of social interaction there. Will it come to the us No word yet. But’s Parent Company by dance did file a trademark application for TikTok music with the US Patent and Trademark Office in May of last year. Apple may not care much right now on improving its social offerings [00:06:00] in the music app, but it may start to care when competition comes a knocking. If you use Apple Music, do you really? I’m not alone. I want to hear what you think about this in the comments. And in the meantime, I know you’re gonna look me up, so if you follow me, maybe I’ll follow you back and maybe I’ll get some better music recommendations to stream. You know, when I’m not listening to weird Zelda remixes. Catch you next time.

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