In a previous article, I had discussed about Apple buying Beats.
It was a great strategic move but It looks like they blew it. At least, as of today it has not achieved any kind of significance or traction that they would have hoped for with the launch.
My understanding is that they blew it due to mainly for two reasons:
a) Brand Positioning – Where does Apple Music go in the minds of users vis-à-vis iTunes? Was iTunes not equal to Apple Music?
In the mind of the users, these are interchangeable – nothing new – and what happens next is confusion. A confused user does not buy, let alone switch from services such as Spotify or Pandora.
A better solution perhaps would have been to call it Apple Beats – everyone had either sort of heard, remembered the purchase, or had seen the YouTube videos that followed with Dr. Dre claiming to become a billionaire etc.
The Beats brand should have been leveraged to create a very distinct product and positioning in the minds of the users.
b) The 2nd reason is getting the social aspect wrong.
Curated for me based on my iTunes purchases and movie preferences, and big data is surely cool – But it still cannot beat a playlist my friend put together for me, or I created and shared with my friends and family in Spotify.
Apple saw transactions in a social context rather than transactions happening inside social interactions.
I am sure they will one day do a relaunch of this, as they still cannot afford to miss it in the long run. Hopefully with better brand positioning and putting real human curation above algorithms.