I’m a very stubborn guy, especially when it comes to accepting new things. Get a Snapchat? No, thank you. Post everything on Twitter? Maybe someday. Listen to all my music on Spotify? Absolutely not. With most new things, my obstinacies are usually based off some prejudice or apathy toward whatever is being presented to me, but when it came to Spotify, I felt pretty justified in refusing to join. Sure, with Spotify I might have access to more music than ever before, but I’ve been building my iTunes library since I was 10 years old. For a while, there wasn’t any reason that could convince me to have switched over.
A couple weeks after I heard about Spotify, I started feeling the pressure. I heard that people could share their playlists and I started to realize that having access to as much music as Spotify has would be incredible. What was holding me back? Was I just too lazy to go and gather the library I had on iTunes on Spotify? Hell, I could even do some housekeeping while I was at it. I didn’t want every song I had in my iTunes library—I wouldn’t need to go and get everything. Yeah, it might take me a few days to collect everything, but I wouldn’t mind too much. Plus, I’d never need to buy another song from iTunes or pirate anything off of YouTube. After a couple of weeks of thinking about it, I was starting to see the benefits of Spotify and I was almost certain I was going to get one.
Then Apple reeled me in again. They unleashed Apple Music. The company has a tendency to have that effect on me. To quote Al Pacino from The Godfather: Part III, “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.” At first, I wasn’t into the concept. I didn’t like the fact that Apple Music would directly compete with Spotify. It’s not that it didn’t make sense that they would—it’s just that, in this situation, I tend to favor the original creator of a concept that companies swarm to. It’s like when Netflix started online streaming and then Hulu and Amazon started their own streaming services and production companies. Netflix started it and Netflix still does it the best. I felt like the same would be true in the case of streaming music.
During the summer, I used to love riding my bike miles up the beach. I’d put in my headphones, put on a bathing suit, grab a towel, and fly out the door. The beach has terrible service, so I never got texts or calls while I was on my rides (a great excuse for getting out of an extra shift at work now and again). But on one of my rides, Apple Music took over my phone. It deleted everything off my phone, assuming that I would want to stream my music off the cloud. On the beach with no service this wasn’t much of an option. I was livid. I already wasn’t interested in Apple Music, but this was the nail in the coffin. I wasn’t going to pay Apple for it.
Then I got home. My dad was busy at his computer, blasting his music.
“Hey, I just got the family plan for Apple Music, I sent your email the invite to our account.”
You can’t argue with something that’s free (at least on my end). I started browsing their playlists and Apple Music’s tight and funky aesthetic. I was hooked. I might not be able to share playlists with friends, but the Apple editors’ playlists are pretty great, especially for my ’60s and ’70s searches. I grabbed about 25 songs in an hour and that left me pretty satisfied with the new setup.
Later, on the other hand, I realized something. Not only had Apple brought me back in, but they’d tied me down too. Those aren’t my songs anymore, they’ll always be Apple’s. If I wanted to quit Apple Music, all of the songs I’ve grabbed would be gone. Now I’m more cemented than ever in Apple’s system. I can’t take those files with me if I decided to leave. It’s like when I bought a Droid for a couple years to get away from the iPhone for a while. Sure, it was a nice phone and I could transfer over some of my music, but it was difficult to get onto the phone and a lot of the files just wouldn’t transfer. Here, this time with Apple Music, Apple found another way to get my family to keep throwing money at it.
It might just be exploiting our laziness and complacency, but Apple does a nice job of keeping its customers with them. Just when you think you’ve found something better, they pull out their flashier version of the same thing, and we flock to it in our droves. Maybe one day they won’t just be hypnotizing us with new iTunes’ and iPhones’.
Featured Image By Apple Inc.