About Apple’s Strange Music Strategy

According to Hits Double Daily:

“Apple will announce a new high-fidelity audio streaming tier in the coming weeks at the same $9.99-per-user price point as its standard plan, label sources are telling us.

The announcement is expected to coincide with the launch of the third-generation AirPods. Whether these will be compatible with the new, improved audio offering is unknown.”

I think this upgrade would make sense in order to stay competitive against Spotify, to bring a new category of more demanding users and add to add to Apple’s bottom line: more revenues dollars. Yet, I find this strange for a few reasons.

Apple cancelled the original HomePod, a device where the audio quality is way above the HomePod mini. I would better understand if they would replace it with a better model, but there is no rumour to this effect. So, Apple is left with no Hi-Fi devices for the home. Second, as good AirPods can be, I’m not sure a Hi-Fi version of Apple Music would make a big difference in a typical listening scenario, maybe for the AirPods Max. Rumours point to an updated AirPods set, not a higher-end version. I would have better understand if such a service had launched with AirPods Max. The updated Apple TV 4K is rumoured to introduce support for eARC, which would allow outputting its audio to the speakers connected to a smartTV, not the HomePod. Am I getting this right? Apple can be a strange beast to try to understand.

One last thing, would Apple Music Hi-Fi be a new tier on top of the current one, or would this be added to the current service? My understanding is for the former. Am I interested in subscribing to another tier? Only if reviews are overwhelmingly positive.

I’m guessing the service will launch with iOS 14.6 just before WWDC. Apple tends to release a few things before the conference to better focus on the content during that week. By the way, this reminds me of the launch of Apple Music, which required its own version of iOS update, version 8.4, just before the WWDC conference back in June of 2015.

Image credit: Susan Q Yin / Unsplash

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