Apple Testing 'Apple Music for Business' Plans at Retailers Like Harrods and Levi's

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Apple has been trialing a new version of Apple Music, dubbed Apple Music for Business, which will provide retail partners with access to streaming music for their stores. The company has been testing out Apple Music for Business for the last six months (via The Wall Street Journal).

Apple is partnering with PlayNetwork Inc. for the project, which specializes in providing music for commercial use by handling licensing and operating the service for Apple. In turn, Apple contributes by creating hundreds of unique playlists for each client.

Image via Harrods/WSJ


Special business contracts must be made to use certain pieces of music in retail areas because of the high cost of licensing fees. PlayNetwork tackles these issues for clients such as Starbucks and Estée Lauder.

In these retail spaces, there are currently a few streaming services that offer business contracts for retailers, including Soundtrack Your Brand (formerly Spotify Business), Sirius XM Holdings, and more. These services cost between $25 to $35 a month per retail location.

Apple Music for Business will now be a player in this space, but there is no indication yet as to how much Apple will charge for its service. In its six months of operation, Apple has landed 25 clients, which are estimated to deliver music to more than 10,000 store locations, including Apple's own retail stores.

One client includes Harrods in London, which had its own custom "Harrods Playlist" built by Apple. The retailer advertises this list of classical, ambient, and electronic music on screens in its stores, which users can search for and listen to in the consumer version of Apple Music.
"We were captivated by their proposition that we could have our brand reflected in our own curated playlist," said Guy Cheston, Harrods's director of partnerships.

Apple Music for Business has so far focused on retail chains with 100 stores or more. But it plans on expanding into small and midsize businesses.
On the regular version of Apple Music, the company just launched a "Replay" feature, which provides subscribers with a way to track the artists, albums, and songs they listen to the most every year. This has been a long-awaited feature on Apple Music, and one that many of the service's rivals, like Spotify, have been doing for years.

Apple Music still trails behind Spotify in terms of paid subscribers, with 60 million paid subscribers as of June 2019 compared to Spotify's 113 million Premium subscribers as of September 30, 2019.

Article Link: Apple Testing 'Apple Music for Business' Plans at Retailers Like Harrods and Levi's
 

maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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I can't see how they'll be able to compete with the canned music already available unless they're willing to charge less then those existing services.
 
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apparatchik

macrumors member
Mar 6, 2008
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Im an :apple: Music subscriber but from time to time I use Spotify on the “come back 3 months for 0.99” offer, Spotify is a great service and a lot of both big and smaller indie festivals/events make playlist so you can get a glimpse of some of the artists you might not know yet, these playlist 9 out of 10 times are made for Spotify. Also, Ive noticed most Android/Windows users dont event know about Apple Music being available on their platforms, so they’re go-to option, the mindshare, is mostly Spotify. As long as :apple: Music keeps improving that’s ok with me.
 
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lunarworks

macrumors 68000
Jun 17, 2003
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This can be big business, if done right. I dunno about other countries, but in Canada retailers need to pay a licence fee to the music industry even if they turn on the RADIO, because that's considered a "public performance".

Interesting that Apple will offer this service here without requiring the use of Apple hardware.
My local shopping plaza plays a YouTube stream over their outside speakers. There's no need for special hardware.
 

calzon65

macrumors 6502a
Jul 16, 2008
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Seems like a logical expansion of Apple music, but I wonder how big that market really is since Muzak has been around for decades; plus there are so many free options, albeit those free options are probably in violation of copyright laws.
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
8,575
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$35/month/location with 10K locations... so $350K/month... $1M/quarter in revenue. This doesn't sound particularly worthwhile for Apple. The amount of money per location is too tiny, and the amount of locations is too tiny.
 

realtuner

macrumors 68000
Mar 8, 2019
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What I laugh at are background music services that apparently can’t afford royalties for actual artists, so they have copycats sing the same songs instead. They are obviously not the original performers and some are downright pathetic attempts to remake the original.
 

michael siccofield

macrumors newbie
Aug 2, 2017
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Apple should test Apple Music for individuals first. In comparison with Spotify, the updates come nearly once a year and lacking of user-frendliness in literally every aspect makes me think that why I’m still using this service for no reason.
 

NufSaid

macrumors 6502
Oct 28, 2015
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Finally.

Anyone who has ever tried to pay the music industry for this knows what a PAIN it has been. I don't want to break copyright but make it easier for me to give you money.
 

diego

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Dec 21, 2003
143
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Canada & Mexico
I use Apple Music but wow, their playlists suck. They try to push hyper-commercial artists way too much and it's extremely annoying. I just use their playlists for instrumental/chill/loungey music sometimes but never for discovering music. Their "handcrafted" recommendations are terrible, I'd rather they just used algorithms like spotify does.
 

iSayuSay

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2011
3,205
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Im an :apple: Music subscriber but from time to time I use Spotify on the “come back 3 months for 0.99” offer, Spotify is a great service and a lot of both big and smaller indie festivals/events make playlist so you can get a glimpse of some of the artists you might not know yet, these playlist 9 out of 10 times are made for Spotify. Also, Ive noticed most Android/Windows users dont event know about Apple Music being available on their platforms, so they’re go-to option, the mindshare, is mostly Spotify. As long as :apple: Music keeps improving that’s ok with me.
It improves slowly over time. iCloud Music library is perfect for managing my rare collections. Live lyrics on iOS 13 is a very, very nice addition which Spotify has no answer for. Then there's the new Replay feature that curates your most played songs over the year. Yes it's been available on Spotify for a while, but again .. baby steps.

Now bundle this with TV+ or Arcade subscription and you get a winning "all-you-can-eat media" platform in a single billing. I can't see Netflix and Spotify doing a tied subscription in the near future.