While Apple Music has been quite successful by anyone's standards -- though it certainly gets a boost as a featured and pre-installed app on every iPhone and iPad on the store shelf -- not every aspect of the company's music streaming competitor to Spotify (download on iOS or Android) has been a smashing success.
Today, music industry news site Billboard reports that Apple quietly notified artist that Apple Music Connect is getting shut down, effective immediately. Connect was positioned as a kind of social media platform within Apple Music, where artists would place videos and pictures, and streaming subscribers could comment on them. However, despite a splashy and star-studded debut, Connect did not take off as Apple had hoped.
Not only will new content be discontinued, but previously uploaded Connect content will be removed from artists pages and the For You section. If you want to view what Apple has decided to keep, it's now only available via Apple Music's search function. Even then, the searchable content will also be removed on May 24, 2019.
Apple has never shied away from clean breaks. In the late 90s, it famously dropped the floppy drive from its iMacs, and it began putting Intel CPUs in its computers not long after. More recently, its MacBook Pro has only USB-C connectors; and its iPhones and iPads no longer have headphone jacks; despite the tech's continued popularity and value proposition versus wireless Bluetooth audio.
However, as 9to5Mac notes, not all of Apple Music's social tools have struggled like Connect. For example, since June 2017, Apple Music subscribers have had the ability to share their streaming activity on a profile page. This feature, designed to help with new music discovery, shows no signs of going away.
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Importantly, this sharing feature also has several layers of privacy controls, including being able to hide specific content from your feed, deciding who can view your profile, and choosing how much of your profile can be viewed in general. The streaming service can also generate a playlist according to what your Apple Music friends are listening to.
When it comes to music streaming, there are fewer ways for a service to distinguish itself versus, say, video streaming or online shopping. So if you can do something unique and make it successful, that can help the service as a whole. In that context, Connect was definitely worth the attempt, and we hope that Apple continues to experiment with new ideas in 2019.
Note: Apple Music is not pre-installed on Android devices, so you must download the app yourself.
- Apple Music Connect has been shut down due to lack of interest. Content is now only available via the search function, and this access will end on May 24, 2019.
- Connect was intended to be a kind of social network within Apple Music, where artists would share videos and photos for users to comment on.
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