Apple Music Subscribers Can Stream for Free on American Airlines Flights Starting February 1st

Apple Music on iPhone XS

Good news for Apple Music subscribers who fly on American Airlines. Starting this Friday, February 1, 2019, you will be able to stream music from the service on flights without having to pay for WiFi access. Starting Friday, Apple Music subscribers can enjoy their access to over 50 million songs, playlists and music videos on … Read moreApple Music Subscribers Can Stream for Free on American Airlines Flights Starting February 1st

Apple Music is Now Available on Amazon Echo Devices

Apple Music Icon

Arriving a few days earlier than scheduled, Apple Music can now integrate with Amazon Echo devices.  The update, which was originally slated for released today, began arriving over the weekend.  It came in the form of an update to the Amazon Alexa app.  Once the update is done, subscribers to Apple Music can add their … Read moreApple Music is Now Available on Amazon Echo Devices

Apple Music to Gain Native Android Tablet Support in Next Release

Apple Music Icon

Good news this morning for those who use Apple Music on Android devices.  The next update to the app, which is currently in beta, will bring native Android tablet support.  The new version is version 2.7 for those keeping score at home.

Right now, if you use Apple Music on your Android tablet, you essentially get a scaled up version of the app for phones.  It works, but it isn’t the greatest user experience.  It is analogous to iPad users using iPhone apps on their tablets.  That will change when version 2.7 is released as it will have a more natural tablet interface.

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Apple Music Now Has 56 Million Paid Subscribers but Still Trails Spotify

Apple Music Icon

In an article in The Financial Times, it is reported that Apple Music now has 56 million paid subscribers to the streaming service.  That is up from 50 million reported in May of this year and Apple Music is now the top music streaming service in the United States.  Globally however, Spotify continues to lead the way with 87 million subscribers and, globally, added more new customers than Apple’s music service.  The Spotify figures come from their latest earnings report.

The report and information was focused on the continuing discussions going on between Apple and iHeartMedia.  Those discussions have been rumored to be going on for several months now with rumors suggesting it could be as little as an investment by Apple into iHeart, all the way up to a purchase of the company.  For Apple, this would be a gap-closing move to bring them closer to the Spotify subscribers number.

Read moreApple Music Now Has 56 Million Paid Subscribers but Still Trails Spotify

Apple Music Coming to Amazon Echo Next Month

Amazon Echo

In an unexcited announcement, Amazon has confirmed that Apple Music will be available on Amazon Echo devices in December 2018.  The news means that subscribers of Apple’s music service will simply be able to give their Echo the command to play music from the service instead of Amazon’s own Prime Music.

“Music is one of the most popular features on Alexa—since we launched Alexa four years ago, customers are listening to more music in their homes than ever before,” said Dave Limp, senior vice president, Amazon Devices. “We are committed to offering great music providers to our customers and since launching the Music Skill API to developers just last month, we’ve expanded the music selection on Alexa to include even more top tier services. We’re thrilled to bring Apple Music – one of the most popular music services in the US – to Echo customers this holiday.”

Given’t Apple’s dominant position in the music streaming market, along with Spotify, this is a big win for consumers.  No longer will they have to buy a HomePod if they want to stream music in their homes.  They will now be able use the far less expensive Echo lineup of devices to do so.

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Apple Music Update for Android Brings Android Auto Support

Apple Music Icon

Isn’t it nice when two big companies play nice in the sandbox?  Yesterday, I told you about an update to Google Maps that allows it to be your mapping app when using Apple’s CarPlay.  Now this morning we get to see an update working the other way around.  Apple has released an update that allows Apple Music to work with Android Auto.

The update, which is now live in the Google Play Store, will allow for Android users who have Apple Music subscriptions to connect it to their Android Auto infotainment system and listen to their music as well as do some pretty sophisticated searching of music too.

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80% of All Music Subscriptions in The US are on Apple Music and Spotify

Apple Music Top 100 USA

In a new report from MusicWatch, provided to Billboard, 80% of the music subscription service subscriptions in the United States comes down to two players:  Apple Music and Spotify.  The report shows that subscriptions have doubled nearly doubled since 2016.  There are roughly 51 million actively monthly subscribers to music streaming services in the US.

Streaming music services made up roughly 65% of the record industry revenue last year.  80% of that came from Apple Music and Spotify with other players such as Amazon Music, Pandora, Google Music and others significantly behind.

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Apple Music Adds Top 100 Playlists Globally and Improves Artist’s Album Layouts

Apple Music Top 100 Playlists

Apple Music rolled out a couple of great new features yesterday, bringing fresh content as well as better organization to the music streaming service.  The updates were both cloud-side changes so you should see them in the app on your iPhone, iPad or on your Mac at this point.

The first change is a new list of Top 100 playlists.  Found in the app when you go to Browse then down to Top Charts, you will see a new section, “Daily Top 100”.  There you will find the top 100 songs globally or in a particular country.

Read moreApple Music Adds Top 100 Playlists Globally and Improves Artist’s Album Layouts

European Union Approves Apple’s Acquisition of Shazam

Apple Logo

The European Union today has approved the acquisition of the music recognition and discovery service, Shazam.  Apple announced their acquisition of the company last December and the EU launched an anticompetitive investigation into the purchase to assure that it would not elevate Apple Music above other services.  The commission seems satisfied with things now and has given the stamp of approval, although it was never really in doubt.

While Apple has not indicated exactly what they want to do with the acquistion, the clearest path is an augmentation of Apple Music with their technology.  This could lead to a Shazam-like music recognition and discovery built into the app as well as improvements around lyric scrolling during a song.

Read moreEuropean Union Approves Apple’s Acquisition of Shazam