Downbeat: Apple Music not a hit with watchdogs, senators, and bloggers

Apple Music: A case of stinkin' thinkin?

Yesterday wasn't a good day for Apple's streaming music service. A consumer watchdog group, a U.S. senator, and a popular blogger weren't praising Apple Music, they were, in effect, burying it under a mound of criticism. Musique de pommes de terre?

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Jeremy Kirk probes unfair planets competition:

Apple's licensing terms for competing music streaming services may be raising prices for consumers, a potential unfair competition issue that should be investigated, a U.S. senator alleged Wednesday.

Sen. Al Franken, a Democrat representing Minnesota, called on the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to probe whether Apple's licensing terms...puts competing companies at a disadvantage.  MORE

Micah Singleton can sign you up (for a fee):

Apple's App Store guidelines call for a 30 percent fee to be charged to any sales by a subscription service that signs up users through an iOS app...which is essentially every paid music streaming service.  MORE

Straight from the horse's mouth:

One of the most innovative companies of our time, Apple is world-renowned for producing high-quality products and offering excellent customer service. However, the recent launch of Apple Music has brought to light...restrictions Apple places on [app developers]..and competitors in the music streaming market, that rely on Apple's operating system to offer their products and services to all consumers with Apple devices.

In the case of music streaming services, Apple's licensing agreements have prevented companies from using their apps to inform users that lower prices are available through advertise promotional discounts, or to complete a transaction...within their app. These types of restrictions seem to offer no competitive benefit and may actually undermine the competitive process, to the detriment of consumers.  MORE

Diane Bartz is accussed of pressing apples:

In a separate letter also sent on Wednesday, the nonprofit Consumer Watchdog accused Apple of pressing the three big music labels to give Apple exclusive rights to artists in an effort to eradicate free ad-supported music services.  MORE

Mikey Campbell investigates claims of heavy-handedness:

Consumer Watchdog floats accusations claiming Apple is taking a heavy-handed approach to music studios unwilling to agree to Apple Music terms, supposedly going straight to artists and bypassing uncooperative labels altogether. Those claims are seemingly backed up by an marketing push featuring artists whose indie labels had yet to sign off on Apple's streaming terms. The labels, which initially bemoaned Apple Music, ultimately acquiesced just days before the service launched.  MORE

Jim Dalrymple abandons high notes for the blues:

I had high hopes for Apple Music. I really wanted it to work and become my default music streaming service, but after the problems I've experienced over the last couple of weeks, I'm disabling it altogether.  MORE

Fearless, @billkuchman smells Bad Blood in the air:

Someone's just mad 'cause Taylor Swift isn't on Spotify  MORE

Finally, @caseynewton indicts Apple Music in the court of public opinion:

To me the biggest indictment of Apple Music is that everyone hates it for different but equally valid reasons  MORE

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings and , who curate the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @itblogwatch or Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

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