This week on AppleInsider: iPad Pro features, Apple Music deals, Apple Watch hits retail & more

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 2015
With the end of WWDC the news cycle subsided a little, but was still active with news about Apple's 12.9-inch iPad, behind-the-scenes deals for Apple Music, and the Apple Watch making a long-awaited debut at brick-and-mortar stores.


'iPad Pro' could get better keyboard, higher-res display

Developers digging into the iOS 9 beta discovered that Apple's 12.9-inch iPad -- typically referred to as the iPad Pro -- might get a unique, larger keyboard, with extra keys including an entire row dedicated to characters like asterisks and parentheses. The keyboard is only toggled to appear for an unreleased iPad size.

The new tablet could have a 2,732-by-2,048-pixel Retina display, giving it roughly the same pixel density as the iPad Air 2.

Some artists, labels upset by Apple Music terms




On Monday Apple confirmed that 71.5 percent of Apple Music's U.S. subscription revenue will go to rights holders including artists, labels, and songwriters. That figure is slightly higher than Spotify, and outside the U.S. the share will reach as high as 73 percent.

Critically, however, Apple won't be paying royalties for listeners on a three-month free trial, a move which has generated resistance from labels and artists, including labels with musicians featured prominently in Apple marketing. The company was also accused of threatening to pull music from the iTunes Store if artists don't sign up for Apple Music, something it officially denied.

Apple to curate iOS 9 News app content




AppleInsider was the first to report on a job listing revealing that the content in iOS 9's News app will be curated by human editors. Until this week, it had been assumed that Apple would depend mostly on RSS feeds or algorithms.

Apple is leaning more heavily towards curated content in general, favoring it on services like Apple Music and the App Store.

Apple Watch becomes available for in-store pickup




Apple this week began accepting reservations for in-store pickup of the Apple Watch at stores in several countries. Previously, the only option with any order was direct delivery.

The Watch should officially become available for in-store shopping by June 26, and reach a wider number of countries around the same time, such as Italy, Mexico, and Switzerland.

Apple could bring 4K video to iTunes Store




A letter divulged from last year's Sony Pictures data leak revealed that Apple has been seeking access to 4K video content since at least 2013. None of it has so far appeared on the iTunes Store, where the highest resolution is still 1080p.

Even now Apple only has two products capable of supporting 4K video, namely the 5K iMac and the Mac Pro. That could change later this year with a new Apple TV set-top.

iMac owners get replacements for faulty 3TB hard drives




iMacs also made the news when Apple announced that owners of certain 27-inch models qualify for a free replacement hard drive, owing to problems with defective 3-terabyte disks. Affected computers were sold between December 2012 and September 2013.

Authorized repairs can be conducted at any Apple Store or certified service provider. If a person has already paid for a repair, they can apply to Apple for a refund.

AppleInsider podcast

AppleInsider editors sat down to discuss a variety of topics, such as anticipated iOS 9 features, iTunes' destiny in the wake of Apple Music, and security in Apple's Keychain feature.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,328member
    The first thing that struck me when I saw the iPad pro keyboard was that they might be targeting developers. The chars in the top row are not something that I'd imagine the average user would use in everyday writing. To be able to code and deploy on the iOS platform would be really cool. Especially for the new markets where the "computer" maybe isn't part of the ecosystem.
    The iCloud file browser app. Split screen multitasking. Bigger screen estate. Proper keyboard. USB Type-C connection. Dedicated pen input. It looks like they're thinking bigger now. Interesting to see how this one plays out. Xcode for iOS next?
  • Reply 2 of 6
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,328member
    The new "For the price of one album a month you can listen to as many albums you want" streaming model is troublesome. There is just no way that it can ever be fair for the musicians, song writers and copyright holders. It only makes sense economically if you have a catalogue of thousands of songs that get a fair amount of plays... which typically, artists do not. Corporations do. Then the bigger the catalogue, the better. It's so corporate it's sick..
    As long as you're independent though you can always use it in addition to other models, like Patreon.com.
  • Reply 3 of 6
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,538moderator
    palegolas wrote: »
    The new "For the price of one album a month you can listen to as many albums you want" streaming model is troublesome. There is just no way that it can ever be fair for the musicians, song writers and copyright holders.

    It depends on how they are paid. It's unlikely that people would buy albums and a popular artist might have 1-3 popular songs per year so at most each person would pay $3 for the whole year to that one artist. With a $10/m subscription, they are pulling in $120 per year, which is enough to cover payments to 40 popular artists. Eddy Cue said iTunes has sold 35 billion songs with around 10 billion between 2013-2014:

    http://www.tweaktown.com/news/38060/itunes-passes-35-billion-songs-sold-according-to-eddy-cue/index.html

    It would be over 45 billion by now. So $10b per year in revenue via iTunes for music. They made $18b in services revenue that year so the App Store would have accounted for the other part.

    To match $10b revenue with $10/m subscriptions, they need 83 million paying subscribers. Spotify has 20 million paid subscribers. This will be why they've launched on Android too because Apple's active userbase will be around 500 million. 83 million is quite a high conversion rate relative to that (~16%). Add on 1 billion Android users though and it's a lot more achievable (~5%).

    The biggest problem artists face financially is the music labels and this has been known for a long time:

    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150204/07310329906/yes-major-record-labels-are-keeping-nearly-all-money-they-get-spotify-rather-than-giving-it-to-artists.shtml

    The biggest upset just now seems to be the free 3 month trial. Apple should really pay the artists a small fee per listen during the trial, even if it's capped e.g 5c per listen up to $300k per artist maximum. If they make the platform more financially appealing than Spotify/Pandora etc, they'll ditch them in no time because they'll realise the other services are losing them money.
  • Reply 4 of 6
    jakebjakeb Posts: 559member
    Totally convinced they're making an optional physical keyboard for the iPad pro. It will be based on the new MacBook keyboard. Explains why they used San Francisco on the MacBook keyboard and updated iOS to it at the same time, when they've never cared about having the same typeface on both -- this new iPad software keyboard is a digital twin of its upcoming physical cousin..
  • Reply 5 of 6
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,328member
    Marvin wrote: »
    It depends on how they are paid. It's unlikely that people would buy albums and a popular artist might have 1-3 popular songs per year so at most each person would pay $3 for the whole year to that one artist. With a $10/m subscription, they are pulling in $120 per year, which is enough to cover payments to 40 popular artists. Eddy Cue said iTunes has sold 35 billion songs with around 10 billion between 2013-2014:

    http://www.tweaktown.com/news/38060/itunes-passes-35-billion-songs-sold-according-to-eddy-cue/index.html

    It would be over 45 billion by now. So $10b per year in revenue via iTunes for music. They made $18b in services revenue that year so the App Store would have accounted for the other part.

    To match $10b revenue with $10/m subscriptions, they need 83 million paying subscribers. Spotify has 20 million paid subscribers. This will be why they've launched on Android too because Apple's active userbase will be around 500 million. 83 million is quite a high conversion rate relative to that (~16%). Add on 1 billion Android users though and it's a lot more achievable (~5%).

    The biggest problem artists face financially is the music labels and this has been known for a long time:

    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150204/07310329906/yes-major-record-labels-are-keeping-nearly-all-money-they-get-spotify-rather-than-giving-it-to-artists.shtml

    The biggest upset just now seems to be the free 3 month trial. Apple should really pay the artists a small fee per listen during the trial, even if it's capped e.g 5c per listen up to $300k per artist maximum. If they make the platform more financially appealing than Spotify/Pandora etc, they'll ditch them in no time because they'll realise the other services are losing them money.

    The free three month is a bag of hurt. I can understand that, being an independent artist myself. But for me the revenue will be around $0 regardless. That's how bad it pays for low play counts. So why bother whining?

    Not sure about your reasoning here.
    One problem with streaming is that if I play one song once, one month, and nothing else, where will all my subscription money go? Certainly not to that one song. It will get its $0.0 revenue, and all the rest of my money will be swallowed up by the system. My only way to compliment an artist is to play their songs to death, hoping that at some point it will pay off.

    After Reading most revenue charts you realise that to earn your living from music you'll need millions of plays per month. It simply won't happen. Not even the biggest artists can expect this. And even if you are a big artist, chances are most of the revenue goes to the organisation pushing you forward to becoming a big artist.
    The music money is in live shows and merchandise. Not streaming.

    Personally I think subscription based patronage is the best way to go, and I can't understand why there aren't more who pursue this. Just 100 donating fans are more powerful than a million streams. When you look at those numbers is when you really start thinking. Wtf..
  • Reply 6 of 6
    As an aside have Tallest and Soli decided to call it quits? Very sad if they have!
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