Apple Music vs. the Spotify free music-streaming model

Apple Music, unveiled this week at Apple’s developer conference, may not be enough of a game-changer to woo people from Spotify and other music streaming services, as Troy Wolverton wrote.

Spotify looks like it is still crushing it: 75 million active users, with 20 million paying, as the company crowed this week on its blog. It also has raised more than $500 million to go after Apple, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Apple Music won’t have a free service, although it have a three-month free trial period.

What if Apple or the labels could get rid of the free streaming option?

While streaming services often offer ads, they also allow consumers to become even more accustomed to not paying for music. Would such a scenario level the playing field and give Apple Music, which is slated to be available at the end of the month, a fair shot at attracting users?

That appears to be the concern of the attorneys general in New York and Connecticut, who are looking at whether Apple is pressuring the labels not to play with music services that offer a free service, the New York Times reported. European regulators are also looking at the issue, the Times said.

Universal Music Group, in a letter, said it did not have an agreement with Apple or other music labels to impede the growth of free or ad-supported services.

A spokesman for the New York AG said:

It’s important to ensure that the market continues to develop free from collusion and other anticompetitive practices.

After Apple entered the book market, the company fought antitrust charges. A federal judge ruled that Apple entered into an illegal anti competitive agreement with publishers. In that case, Apple and some of the major publishers agreed to raise prices on books, which forced Amazon to do so as well, the judge found. Apple has challenged that ruling.

Above: Apple CEO hugs Jimmy Iovine who appeared on stage to help introduce the new Apple Music at the Worldwide Developers Conference, Monday morning June 8, 2015, at the Moscone West convention center in San Francisco, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)


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