Apple employs a team of people “listening to music and transcribing the lyrics,” says Oliver Schusser, head of Apple Music.
“We don’t get [lyrics] from the usual sites,” Schusser says, explaining that Apple doesn’t trust crowdsourcing to give it the right answers for its new synced lyrics feature.
That’s one anecdote from a new Wired article about the future of Apple Music. It also describes Apple’s “artist first” approach to growing its streaming music service.
Making Beats 1 bigger
Interestingly, the article notes that Apple is keen to integrate its Beats 1 radio station more heavily into the Apple Music experience.
“I want more people to listen and discover this stuff,” says host Zane Lowe. “And I want to integrate what we do at Beats 1 into Apple Music more thoroughly. I would guess there are still subscribers who don’t realise Elton John has done over 200 shows. Those shows are works of art in their own right.”
Apple doesn’t share exactly how many people listen to Beats 1. The article notes Apple’s official line is “tens of millions.” However, that doesn’t make it clear whether this is regular listeners and, if so, how regular. Cupertino currently reports upward of 60 million Apple Music subscribers worldwide.
To help grow Beats, Apple Music supposedly plans to launch more dedicated shows for its top playlists.
Live music is ‘on the horizon’
Apple also wants to embrace live music more fully. “Live music is definitely on the horizon,” Lowe says. Apple recently did this when it uploaded a series of summer concerts which took place at Apple Stores.
Finally, the article reflects on Apple’s decision not to offer a free tier for Apple Music. “We think artists should get paid,” says Schusser. “And we’re adding more credits to songwriters, not just artists. We think the decision not to do a free tier has really paid off, after four years. We don’t think music should be free.” According to a December 2018 analysis of streaming service payouts, Apple pays artists around $0.00735 per stream.