the streaming wars

Apple Music Becomes Fastest-Growing Music-Streaming Service, Finally Gets Redesign to Celebrate

Apple Worldwide Developers Conference Kicks Off In San Francisco
What Apple Music will look like.

Less than a year since its debut, Apple Music is getting a well-timed makeover. Apple announced at its glitzy Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday that the streaming service has hit a whopping 15 million paid subscribers, a number they say makes Apple Music the fastest-growing streaming service to date. How fast? Well, in just under a year, Apple Music is now halfway to matching their biggest competitor Spotify’s 30 million premium subscribers, which the Swedish service hit in March after eight years on the market. And to celebrate, Apple Music is finally fixing everything you hate about it.

As previously reported, Apple also debuted its new Apple Music redesign — sans the Drake hype machine this time. Previewed by the breath of fresh air that is Apple Music’s head of global marketing, Bozoma Saint John, they’ve introduced both a better look and streamlined experience. Here are the highlights:

  • Downloads. Apple Music has faced heavy criticism for allegedly deleting at least one user’s entire music library. Possibly as a corrective to such a headache, it has now made Apple Music easier to find the songs it knows you’ve paid for. The app will now open with your library, which includes the new Downloaded Music drop-down — “where all the music on your iPhone sits” — as well as all your recently added music. So hopefully, it’s harder to lose.
  • Browse. Hallelujah! Apple Music will attempt to make it easier and faster to search through its catalogue. On one expandable page, this tab will show you the most popular album on the app at the given time, new music, all the top charts, playlists, and genres. (Though at a glance, manually search via typing in a song, artist, or album doesn’t seem improved.)
  • Lyrics. Following Spotify’s lead, Apple Music will now show you lyrics for the song you’re playing. Which means everyone at the conference got to (badly) karaoke to “Rapper’s Delight.” Spotify, however, has a partnership with Genius that shows you both the lyrics and their meaning.
  • Discovery. Again, taking a page directly out of Spotify’s songbook, Apple Music will now make you a Discover Mix, found in the “For You” tab. You’ll also get daily curated playlists and and find your recently played songs there. Even better: They’re folding the Connect feature into For You so that it’s no longer its own barely used tab, and promises more artists will actually use it to engage with users.
  • Radio. Don’t worry, they’re not messing with Beats 1 radio!

The new redesign will reportedly arrive with iOS 10 sometime this fall.

Apple Music Reaches 15M Subs, Gets Redesign