The FTC and European Commission haven’t been pleased with Apple as the company heads into the late June release of Apple Music. The company has pushed for record labels to drop cooperation with Spotify and YouTube’s free tiers. The move has drawn the disapproving glare of the trade commissions.
In getting record labels to drop the two streaming services’ free options, Apple Music would be able to better compete with in the music streaming market by picking up users on par with other services. The free tier option allows for companies to boast large active user numbers like competitor Spotify did with its 75 million.
With a large pull of users, it’s a matter of making the subscription service alluring. Sure the tried and true ad free approach is preferred, but with all other services with a free and/or subscription service a company will need to try harder. The second alluring feature is usually competitive pricing. The $10 mark seems to be the perfect spot, but a service like Tidal jumped over that completely and Pandora is offering streaming music stations and the like for $5. All of this adds of to a rough battle for Apple in getting users.
In regards to the tactics, Universal Music Group responded to a subpoena to the Attorney General’s Office in New York saying that there was an investigation by the Attorney Generals into working with Apple and other labels in working against ad free music services.
In the same letter UMG said that the company hadn’t worked with any on the investigated record labels or Apple to hinder the other music services but that it felt changes were needed by streaming services to keep up-to-date with the music industry’s business models.