It’s interesting to think about how differently the world works now when it comes to how we discover, purchase, and listen to music. 25 years ago it was listening to whatever the radio stations had on, or purchasing entire albums in order to listen to your favorite songs whenever you want. 15 years ago it was all about iTunes, which allowed you to purchase digital versions of entire albums or even single songs if you wanted. 5 years ago was about the time that music listening as we know it today started: streaming music.
For me personally, it had started in 2011 with Spotify. It wasn’t without its issues, but it was the most convenient way of listening to music that I can ever recall using. Over the next 4 years, I would create dozens of playlists that were specifically tailored to my taste with Spotify.
But just because Spotify was great doesn’t mean that something equally as great, or perhaps even better, won’t eventually come along. Several streaming music services have popped up since then such as Google Play Music, Xbox Music, Amazon Prime Music, and most recently Apple Music.
Since I own an iPhone and they were offering 3 free months of service (the real reason I ever thought to stray from my beloved Spotify, because who doesn’t like free stuff?) I decided to give it a fair chance. Initially I wasn’t all that impressed. It was foreign, it was cluttered, and aside from its radio stations it didn’t seem to offer anything different from Spotify.
For the most part, those sentiments still stand. It’s still pleasant to look at it with its bright, colorful layout, but it’s still just as easy to get lost in the app. Also, there’s still no official way to switch your playlist from another streaming service over to Apple Music, so starting over with a new music collection can become time consuming. (There is a “Move to Apple Music” service for sale for $5, and it works with Spotify and Rdio. As I mentioned, I’m cheap, so I haven’t purchased it, but it does exist.)
So what’s the reason behind keeping Apple Music at all if it doesn’t seem like it’s worth the time?
The one big advantage that Apple Music has going for it, specifically against Spotify, is the $14.99 Family Plan. I have a couple of younger siblings that use iOS devices and they also like streaming music, so I decided to set them up on an account with me. It’s $5 more a month for me, but it’s $5 less than they would pay for individual accounts. And for some people, like yours truly, saving money is enough reason to make the switch.
Granted, Google Play Music now offers the exact same plan for the same price, but at the moment I am not so inclined to go through the trouble of creating my playlists again.
So, for the most part, the pricing and the radio stations (which I still like very much and have added quite a bit of new music to my playlists over the past few months because of it) are the two reasons why I’ve decided to stick with Apple Music. I find that I’m in the minority here as many people seem less than enthused with Apple Music – and I agree that it is definitely not the be all and end all of music streaming services by a long shot – but that’s my verdict on the app. The 3-month free trial suckered me in, and I liked the family plan and radio enough to where I decided to just continue with the service.