The news of Apple Music's price increase overseas has attracted attention since it was announced on October 25. It's worth noting that Apple Music has been on the move since October, with price increases, new features such as the ability for artists to customize their home pages, and the announcement of 100 million songs on the platform. In addition, Microsoft revealed that Apple Music will launch on Windows in 2023. However, Apple Music's performance in China has been lukewarm while the product is frequently distributed in various aspects, especially amid strong competition from the country's major Music platforms, leaving Apple Music with relatively limited space.
On Oct. 25, Apple Inc. raised the monthly price of several services, including Apple Music, for the first time since its launch.
At the latest price, Apple Music will cost $1 more a month, to $10.99. Apple cited higher licensing costs as the main reason for the price increase, and said artists and songwriters will make more money as a result.
Beijing Business Daily reporter noted that as of now, the price of Apple Music service in China has not changed. According to Apple Music's website, the price in China is still 10 yuan per month for the personal version, 15 yuan for the home version and 5 yuan for the student version. As for whether there is a change in the price of the late China, the reporter contacted Apple, as of the press has not received a response.
The price increase follows a flurry of moves by Apple Music.
Since October, Apple Music has announced a library of 100 million songs and new features for artists and bands to personalize their profiles. Not only did Microsoft announce Apple Music would be available for Windows in 2023, but Apple and Mercedes-Benz announced, Apple Music's spatial audio feature with native support for Dolby Panoramic Sound is being rolled out to select Mercedes-Benz vehicles worldwide, including the latest Mercedes-Maybach, EQS, EQS SUV, EQE, and S-Class models.
However, one placement after another, Apple Music's performance in the Chinese market since its launch in 2015 has been tepid and has failed to show strong competitiveness.
According to the data of Qimai, in the best-selling music list of China's App Store, whether on iPhone or iPad, the top domestic products are QQ Music, NetEase Cloud Music, Kugou music, Cat ear FM, Kuwo music and so on.
In terms of paying subscribers, though Apple Music doesn't break out updated numbers, jpmorgan Chase predicted in June that Apple Music would have 110 million subscribers by 2025. But the comparison focuses on the financial results of domestic music companies, including Tencent Music Entertainment Group, which revealed that its online music paying users had reached 82.7 million by the second quarter of 2022. Previously, UBS had expected its paying subscriber base to exceed 100 million by 2023 and 140 million by 2025. By comparison, Apple Music's forecast of 110 million subscribers by 2025 is not that impressive.
At present, the domestic online music market is facing more fierce market competition under the background of increasing standardization. Relevant companies not only increase the content copyright frequently, but also continuously improve the service experience.
Take Tencent Music Entertainment Group as an example, since this year, not only with avex China, Times Fengjun and other labels, record companies and singers such as Liu Yuxin reached cooperation, online singer Jay Chou's new digital album "The Greatest Works", stable content reserve, but also through the launch of the "one-click release of new songs overseas" function, The performance brand TME live continues to launch a series of music performances to strengthen the service of musicians and user experience.
While domestic Music products further enrich itself, Apple Music still mainly provides users with listening services, which is relatively simple. In addition, although Apple Music has a large number of European and American songs in its music library, the current domestic music products, including the works of Taylor Swift, Alan Walker and other popular singers, have also been online on its own platform through copyright cooperation.
At the same time, in terms of price, the VIP prices of domestic Music platforms are mostly within 15 yuan/month. If the annual package is continuous and combined with preferential activities, the minimum monthly fee can be reduced to less than 10 yuan/month, which makes the 10 yuan/month price of Apple Music personal edition not have obvious advantages.
In the opinion of Music critic Wang Le, it is difficult for Apple Music, as a latecomer, to seize more space in the Chinese market because domestic music platforms have a better understanding of users and have more resources in content and channels through years of accumulation.
Beijing Business Daily reporter Zheng Rui