With over 20 million paid subscribers and growing, Apple’s reimagined music service spawned from an iTunes overhaul but now has a life of its own.
It wasn’t long ago that Tim Cook went up on stage and almost acknowledged that the long in the tooth iTunes needs a makeover and Apple Music was born with the iOS10 update. Besides a much more user-friendly navigation, it also brought the music back to the centre stage with oversized album art and different ways to discover new and budding artists.
Having been a user for the past few months, I must admit it is possibly the finest blend of synced music across your devices and curated playlists by real human experts instead of AI algorithms that usually play Beck right after Badshah.
Having signed up a huge number of local talent and even being involved in promoting established talent, Apple Music is now making its presence felt on the Indian music scene. Both, the distribution and the consumption of music has seen a huge change over the last few years and amongst the streaming services, Apple might be the newest entrant on the block but it seems to have secured support from a vast majority of music makers.
In a private session, big names like music duo Salim-Sulaiman and newcomer Divine professed their love for all things Apple Music and AirPods but cutting through the quotable quotes, it emerged that Apple in India is seriously managed by a team dedicated to curating indie talent and even gambling on Rap artists like Divine by helping them make a viral video entirely shot on the iPhone.
Even Salim-Sulaiman’s musical journey has been released as a documentary called Shukranallah on Apple Music, exhibiting their open door policy towards all genres and formats as long as the music gets out there.
Tapping into the pool of talented Indian musicians, Apple has also launched a new campaign that is centred around Bollywood rap king Badshah, New Delhi singer-songwriter Prateek Kuhad, Mumbai rapper Divine, film composer and singer Anirudh Ravichander, singer-songwriter Kavya Trehan and Mumbai-based electro-swing duo Madboy/Mink. Shot entirely on an iPhone 7 Plus by Mumbai-based photographer Ishaan Nair, the campaign features the young musicians at locations like Mumbai’s newly renovated, 108-year-old Royal Opera House.
To make it easier to access all this wealth of content, Apple India has lowered the cost of entry into the Music ecosystem. Already enjoying the lowest tariffs in the world at ₹120 a month, Apple is making it even more tempting for students by offering the Apple Student Membership for ₹60 a month. That’s less than a US dollar for a music repository that's rapidly becoming one of the largest of its kind in the world.
Of course, you’ll also be accessing curated playlists, Beats Radio and every new album you can consume. That’s certainly not a bad deal for anyone who starts and ends their day with music.