Siri v Alexa
Apple Music has picked up 27 million streaming subscribers close to two years after launching at end-June 2015. The service had 17 million subs last December and has been signing up new users at a rate of almost 1.3 million per month since then. However, Apple Music still lags behind rival Spotify which reported 50 million paid subscribers in March.
Apple has also unveiled its HomePod wireless speaker which is designed to work with Apple Music and provide access to a catalogue of 40 million tracks. The company says the HomePod platform provides ‘deep knowledge of personal music preferences and tastes’ and can help users discover new music.
Like Amazon’s Echo system with its Alexa assistant, HomePod has been designed for voice control via an array of six microphones, so users can interact with it from across a room. Apple’s Siri assistant can handle advanced searches within the music library, so that users can ask questions such as ‘Hey Siri, who’s the drummer in this?’ or create shared ‘Up Next’ queues with everyone in the home.