Spotify design apple music

Yesterday, Spotify announced what it described as its “biggest evolution yet,” with a new TikTok-style Home feed that combines music, podcasts, audiobooks, and more into a single feed. The redesign has received quite a bit of criticism from music fans — and it could represent a major opportunity for Apple Music. Hear me out…

Spotify’s new design

A quick look at the response to coverage of the new Spotify interface reveals that most users aren’t very happy with it. The complaints center around Spotify trying to do “too much at the same time,” making it harder to just find music and playlists.

This has been a growing problem for Spotify, as it has attempted to cram more and more into the same app. The company spent a lot of money on podcasts and audiobooks, and it’s struggling to drive user engagement to justify those investments.

Spotify all-new design

Spotify apparently thought this new design might be a win-win: friendlier to what users actually want while also driving engagement to nonmusic offerings, like podcasts and audiobooks. Perhaps, unsurprisingly, that’s not the case.

An opening for Apple Music

Personally, I dabble with Spotify but primarily use Apple Music. I enjoy some of Spotify’s curated playlists, but this redesign has sealed the deal for me to never switch back to Spotify full-time. At the same time, however, I’m hoping Apple sees this as an opportunity to improve Apple Music and entice disgruntled Spotify users to join its service instead.

The redesigned Spotify app is bad, but Apple Music isn’t great. The Apple Music app is stale, laggy, and difficult to navigate in many different places. But there’s one thing Apple Music has going for it: Apple’s not trying to do too much with it.

apple music 2023

With a few small exceptions, the Apple Music app is focused on music. You won’t find audiobooks and podcasts cluttering up the experience. Podcasts aren’t randomly inserted into your Apple Music playlists. You open the app and are greeted with quick access to your most recent albums, songs, and artists.

This is something I want Apple to build on. At a time when Spotify is doing the opposite, Apple should double down on Apple Music as a music streaming service by:

  • Improving the speed and reliability of the Apple Music app.
  • Making it easier to resurface songs/albums/artists you haven’t listened to in a while.
  • Adding crossfading support on iPhone and iPad.
  • Continuing paying artists a much higher royalty rate than Spotify.
  • Investing in a “Spotify Connect”-style feature for cross-device control (or improve AirPlay).
  • Integrating more social features, such as collaborative playlists.

Dan Moren penned a great piece for Macworld last week, highlighting different places where Apple can improve the music listening experience. Pretty everything he mentions in his piece holds even more weight now that Spotify has made it clear that music isn’t its only focus.

At this point, I question if music is even Spotify’s number one focus — let alone its only focus. Apple has an opportunity to show us it’s committed to Apple Music, and doing so might just attract some disgruntled Spotify users to boost its precious service revenue.

Let’s hope this year’s updates to iOS 17 and macOS 14 include some notable Apple Music upgrades.

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How Apple Music could benefit from Spotfiy’s bad redesign

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How Apple Music could benefit from Spotfiy’s bad redesign

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