It's been a big week of Apple announcements. Between the new iPhone 6 models, the ᴡᴀᴛᴄʜ and Pay there's lots to talk about. But I wonder if the announcement with the most long term implications was musical.
I can't help but guess if U2's release of their new album is indicative of the direction the music industry is going. While music sales are ever decreasing, streaming services seem to be rapidly growing in popularity. Apple must be feeling anxious and I'm not convinced that Beats Music will be enough to retain customers. So what next?
My guess is an increasing shift towards the TV industry model. Companies like Apple, Google and Amazon competing for artist exclusivity, and then gifting music to customers to increase the value proposition of devices and services. Microsoft and Sony have both done very well with exlusives (and timed exclusives) for their game consoles and TV stations such as HBO have had huge success in locking down their own content.
It's been over 10 years since Apple introduced the iTunes Store carried to success by the iPod, I'm excited for what they do next.