Apple Music celebrates its first birthday today (30 June 2016), marking one whole year since the streaming service launched to the masses. From the people who brought us iTunes, Apple Music promised to offer an expansive catalogue of songs at an affordable price. But as the platform celebrates a milestone anniversary, has it delivered on the promise it made to customers?
The launch of Apple Music came three months after the arrival of Jay Z's service Tidal, another competitor for Spotify, Google Play and Deezer. However, Apple Music immediately proved to be strong competition for its nearest rivals as it offers a choice of more than 30 million songs, a three-month free trial (after which it costs £9.99) and an easy sign-up process for iPhone users.
Not to mention it has gained the upper hand by securing some exclusive releases. Drake released his fourth studio album Views in May 2016 but initially made it available only through Apple Music and iTunes. The service also had the privilege of hosting Chance The Rapper's mixtape Coloring Book, which turned out to be one of its best business moves as the record became the first album in history to chart on Billboard 200 based on streams alone.
Of course, it has not been completely smooth sailing and Apple Music has hit some stumbling blocks along the way. Around the time of its launch, pop star Taylor Swift wrote an open letter to the streaming service announcing that she was holding back her 1989 album over a royalties dispute. In the end, Apple Music had a change of heart and everyone was a winner.
The platform has done a great job of attracting customers and currently boasts 15 million paying subscribers. There is a long way to go until Apple Music can match Spotify's count of 100 million customers, but it has had one hell of a start.
Happy 1st birthday, Apple Music. Here's to many more years of awesome tunes.