Apple still in licensing talks to complete Apple Music library - report

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited June 2015
Even after making Apple Music public during Monday's WWDC keynote, Apple is still negotiating some important music licenses for the streaming service, a new report says.




While the company has the rights to Taylor Swift -- who infamously pulled her catalog from Spotify -- it is however missing major artists like The Beatles, and working to secure more content, a source told Bloomberg Business. Apple is promising to have over 30 million songs, but it remains to be seen whether the Apple Music catalog will ever approach parity with the iTunes Store, which has over 37 million tracks.

Catalog size is typically considered one of the most important metrics for a streaming service, since listeners need something that can replace a local library or at least provide access to favorites.

Apple Music is due to launch on June 30 for iOS, Mac, and Windows, with Android and Apple TV introductions coming sometime this fall. Apple could conceivably secure more licenses by the end of the month.

The Beatles, however, have been notoriously resistant to putting their music on any streaming service. It was considered a major event when the band appeared on iTunes, marking the first time its catalog was available digitally anywhere -- Apple launched a substantial marketing campaign, including ads, a press event, and in-store promotions.

Content may not be the only dictator of whether Apple Music succeeds. The service has no free tier for its on-demand content, unlike Spotify, which has the vast majority of its over 60 million customers on ad-based subscriptions. People who don't pay the $10 per month Apple is asking for will only be able to listen to Beats One, a radio station curated by celebrity DJs in New York, London, and Los Angeles.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    thewhitefalconthewhitefalcon Posts: 4,453member
    I'm sure they'll keep whittling away at it, the iTunes Store didn't have everyone at launch either. This is still a HUGE amount of content.

    I notice Spotify won't give a number. "Millions" to me means less than ten, so AM has at least three times the content.
  • Reply 2 of 23
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,095member
    I'm sure they'll keep whittling away at it, the iTunes Store didn't have everyone at launch either. This is still a HUGE amount of content.

    I notice Spotify won't give a number. "Millions" to me means less than ten, so AM has at least three times the content.
    Two years ago Spotify said they had about 20M songs in it's library. I'd imagine it might be a bit higher now, but dunno. Interesting tidbit in that same report: 4 million of those had never been streamed!
  • Reply 3 of 23
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post



    I'm sure they'll keep whittling away at it, the iTunes Store didn't have everyone at launch either. This is still a HUGE amount of content.



    I notice Spotify won't give a number. "Millions" to me means less than ten, so AM has at least three times the content.

     

    Engadget reports that Spotify has over 30 million songs in its collection. That's about the same as in the iTunes store.

  • Reply 4 of 23
    applezillaapplezilla Posts: 941member

    I'll be switching from Spotify, but I expect and hope that The Beatles won't play ball on this.

  • Reply 5 of 23
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,483member

    Too many notes.

  • Reply 6 of 23

    What happens to my $25/yr iTunes Match subscription which includes a year of ad free iTunes radio?

  • Reply 7 of 23
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,095member
    richl wrote: »
    Engadget reports that Spotify has over 30 million songs in its collection. That's about the same as in the iTunes store.
    You meant in Apple Music. There's reportedly about 20% of the 37M iTunes library that (at least initially) won't be available for streaming
  • Reply 8 of 23
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,296member

    Is Taylor Swift onboard? /s

  • Reply 9 of 23
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Patrick Byars View Post

     

    What happens to my iTunes Match subscription?

    The match part doesn't work, the only good thing was ad free music.

    Will that be going away? :-/ 




    What are you blabbering about? iTunes Match is a completely different service, that works just fine. Its also a measly $25 a year.

     

    Has no impact on Apple Music whatsoever.

  • Reply 10 of 23
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,296member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    Two years ago Spotify said they had about 20M songs in it's library. I'd imagine it might be a bit higher now, but dunno. Interesting tidbit in that same report: 4 million of those had never been streamed!



    This is what has always made me shake my head when some people complain about the 25,000 song limit in iTunes Match. The same people complain that iTunes gets sluggish when their music library has 250,000 songs in it. Who in their right mind could keep track of and listen to even a fraction of such a library. In my opinion it’s some kind of mental illness like hoarding. My youngest son had a roommate that kept their DSL line saturated 24/7 downloading pirated software. When one hard drive would fill up he went out and bought another and carried on. The roommate had more than a dozen hard drives filled to the brim with anything and everything. There’s something strange about that kind of behavior.

     

    So some are going to choose which service to use based solely on the number of tracks in the database and not the relevance of those tracks or the curation of such? To me that’s the same as choosing a computer based on the CPU speed and specs alone, operating system and quality be damned. 

  • Reply 11 of 23
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    lkrupp wrote: »
    Is Taylor Swift onboard? /s

    I wonder will Jay Z will be on board. :D
  • Reply 12 of 23
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    You meant in Apple Music. There's reportedly about 20% of the 37M iTunes library that (at least initially) won't be available for streaming



    Is that Google Math? 30/37 isn't 20%.

  • Reply 13 of 23
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,095member

    Is that Google Math? 30/37 isn't 20%.
    If you deduct 20% of 37M what are you left with? :rolleyes: Whose math were you using? Don't tell me "Apple math" is any different.
  • Reply 14 of 23
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,923member

    Well, the Beats One station looks like total crap. Club music and hip-hop by the looks of it.

    Also, not a single Rock station outside of alternative. Hopefully, I'll be able to create my own stations like I did on iTunes Radio.

  • Reply 15 of 23
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,480member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    Two years ago Spotify said they had about 20M songs in it's library. I'd imagine it might be a bit higher now, but dunno. Interesting tidbit in that same report: 4 million of those had never been streamed!

     

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RichL View Post

     

     

    Engadget reports that Spotify has over 30 million songs in its collection. That's about the same as in the iTunes store.


     

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post





    You meant in Apple Music. There's reportedly about 20% of the 37M iTunes library that (at least initially) won't be available for streaming



    While I do find that Pandora constantly repeats the same songs, I think library size is an overrated statistic.   What counts is the number of likable songs that come up when you program a streaming station.    In the age of MP3 downloads, consumers turned away from 'deep tracks' to singles because in most cases they didn't feel the non-singles tracks were worthy.   Personally I feel this really hurt artistic achievement in the music market.    In 2014, in the U.S. only 117.6 million albums were downloaded vs. 1.2 billion single tracks.   The number of albums downloaded was actually fewer than the number of CDs still sold, 144.1 million in spite of the fact that 'everyone' thinks the CD is dead.   (And it is compared to its peak of 942.5 million units in 1999.)  

     

    From 1955 to 1999, there were only 23,000 songs that made the Billboard Top 100 charts.   From 1955 to 1996, there were only 18,300 charted albums representing about 200,000 tracks from about 4400 artists.     Even if you double those numbers for the last 18.5 years, it still amounts to a fraction of the tracks that any of these services claim.   The vast majority of the tracks they hold must be for music that never sold beyond the very smallest numbers.    That doesn't make it bad music (it's probably better than what's charted in many cases, especially in the last 20 years), but it means it's not music that had much impact.   

     

    If the new iTunes well integrates downloads, streaming and radio, I don't think it matters much that they don't have the Beatles and some other acts.  Anyone who wants the Beatles will have the downloads.    Of course if they can't make a deal with one of the 'big 3' labels (Sony, Warner or Universal), that's another story because a third or more of music could be missing.   

  • Reply 16 of 23
    The Beats One page on Apple's website has many more genres listed than club music, hip-hop, and alternative rock.
  • Reply 17 of 23
    gumbigumbi Posts: 148member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post



    I'm sure they'll keep whittling away at it, the iTunes Store didn't have everyone at launch either. This is still a HUGE amount of content.



    I notice Spotify won't give a number. "Millions" to me means less than ten, so AM has at least three times the content.

     

    You could answer this question quite easily with a simple web search. 

     

    https://press.spotify.com/us/information/

    Number of songs: Over 30 million

     

    Which by the way is still smaller than Xbox music which has something like 38 million tracks total (the number available to a user depends on the market of course). 

     

    The point is that you probably aren't going to get much more selection out of AM than any of the other major services.  About the only thing compelling about AM to me is the family pricing.  However, Spotify has apparently said they are going to match that...  So there goes the major advantage.  Unless you are a Taylor Swift fan?  LOL.

  • Reply 18 of 23
    sestewartsestewart Posts: 102member

    It's going to depend on how it shakes out on Apple Music. If an artist gets on board with it, do you get their entire library, or just what that artist wants you to be able to stream that month? 

     

    I'm about listening to an entire album, not just what is played as a single on the radio. That's the problem I have with iTunes Radio and Pandora. I never get to hear anything other than a few tracks of an artist. I'd rather pay for the album and use my iTunes Match service than hear just a few hits. 



    If the labels and artists put their entire catalog on the service, it might be worth it.. but really, what Taylor Swift fan doesn't already have all of her albums? 

     

    The artists I want to listen to, I already have all of their albums in itunes Match. 

     

    How will this help music discovery, if all we can listen to are DJ curated stations? 





    **answered my own question.. looks like full albums are expected to be available on Apple Music. For the price of 1 album a month, it'll be worth it, if they get at least 2 of the big 3 on board. 



    And.. you can still create your own radio stations like iTunes Radio.. hopefully they'll tweak it to play more an artist than just a few hits

  • Reply 19 of 23
    mnbob1mnbob1 Posts: 264member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pmz View Post

     



    What are you blabbering about? iTunes Match is a completely different service, that works just fine. Its also a measly $25 a year.

     

    Has no impact on Apple Music whatsoever.


    No need to be rude. What he is saying is that if you subscribe to iTunes Match it includes iTunes Radio without paying the cost for the iTunes Radio subscription. He was asking a valid question. You are correct that iTunes Match is a different service but Apple threw in an extra perk when they launched iTunes Radio. Taking out the first sentence of your response, measly, and your statement about Apple Music would be appropriate since you have no facts about whether or not it has an impact on Apple Music.

  • Reply 20 of 23
    radamoradamo Posts: 5member
    It is reported that Apple Music will be using a 256K bit rate. NO THANKS!!! For the same cost both Pandora and Spotify have 320K bit rate. Why didn't Apple look to exceed that. They have such a nice quality product and they keep killing the quality of their music files..... I just don't get it.
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