Apple to 'reboot Music service', after user interface criticisms and executive departures

It's been less than a year since Apple launched its 'revolutionary' music subscription service, priced at $9.99 a month, alongside Beats 1, its round-the-clock worldwide radio station.

By the beginning of this year, Apple Music had grown to around 10 million subscribers - considerably behind Spotify, which now has over 30 million paying users, but not a bad start for the first six months. Or is it?

Considering Apple's massive presence in the global music industry - its iTunes Store has come to dominate digital music sales - that figure of 10 million subscribers starts to look a bit less impressive. Speaking with Bloomberg, BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis said that "Apple Music is underwhelming. They have subscribers because of their platform." With such a massive subscriber base, he seems to think that Apple's streaming service should be doing much better than it is.

It looks like Apple may just agree with that assessment. Bloomberg reports that Apple is preparing "sweeping changes" to its streaming service, amid mixed reviews and complaints that the user interface leaves much to be desired.

There have reportedly been internal issues at the company too, which prompted the departure of several executives and other key figures. Citing unnamed sources, it's said that Apple has been "struggling to integrate its employees and unite the streaming and downloading business into a cohesive music strategy".

The company will likely unveil substantial changes to the Apple Music interface at its Worldwide Developer Conference in June, as part of what is being described as a 'reboot' of the service. A key focus of the overhaul will be on making the mobile app - which is available both on iOS and on Android - more intuitive.

Along with these improvements, Apple is said to be preparing a major marketing campaign in an effort to attract new subscribers - something that it has so far resisted, in favor of preserving the more lucrative sales it attracts through individual song and album sales on iTunes.

Apple recently published its latest quarterly earnings, reporting a sizeable fall in revenue and net income, prompted by a significant drop in sales of its Mac, iPad and iPhone lines. While its CEO, Tim Cook, believes its next-generation iPhones will be so compelling that users literally won't be able to live without them, the decline in hardware sales places greater emphasis on the revenues generated by the company's digital products and services.

Source: Bloomberg

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