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Spotify’s ‘audio-first’ strategy – as originally outlined here – is about one audio app to rule them all, currently focused on music and podcasts, with an eye to other kinds of content in the future. All delivered through the same app.

Apple’s strategy is markedly different: its audio is split between three different apps. Music in Apple Music, Podcasts in Apple Podcasts, and Audiobooks within Apple Books.

Now there’s a fourth app for that: Apple News. The company is going to start producing “about 20 audio stories a week” for its Apple News+ subscription service: voice actors reading longer pieces from a range of partners including the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Vogue, Wired, Vanity Fair, Sports Illustrated and more.

There’ll also be a “daily audio news briefing” called Apple News Today, which will be in the Apple News app but NOT paywalled behind the News+ subscription. Every weekday morning, two of Apple News’s editors will talk about the day’s key stories. The show will be available within the Apple News app’s new ‘audio’ tab, but also on Apple Podcasts.

Not quite siloes, then. This has nothing to do with music at this point, but it’s just interesting to note the difference in strategy between Apple and Spotify on the big picture of how people will want to get audio content if they shift away from traditional radio. For Apple, it’s a suite of apps offering mostly separate content; for Spotify, it’s all in one place.

It’s often said that the big music streaming service all look and work much the same – because they do! But in the wider ‘audio’ space, the two biggest players in this world are approaching things noticeably differently.

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Music Ally's Head of Insight

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