Yesterday Apple and Spotify coincided in two important news in the open war for the streaming music market .
The Europeans announced the purchase of two startups, Cord Project and Soundwave , and those of Cupertino launched a new application, Music Memos (Bloc Musical in Spanish). Cord Project is a small voice messaging app, and Soundwave a social network to share music with friends. That is to say, that both acquisitions point to the deepening of the social part of Spotify, and to the incorporation of messaging services and consumption of participatory music.
In the case of Apple, Music Memos is an own development, an app that offers the possibility of making small recordings of musical instruments (also voice) with the iPhone or iPad to take “musical notes” susceptible to becoming songs, something as well as a previous step to Garage Band. The focus in this case is that of amateur or semi-professional music production … which usually also has a high social component . It is important to note that the app can only be used if you have an Apple Music account, which makes it clear what Apple is looking for with this release.
The movements of both companies point in the same direction: the need to offer additional value-added services to differentiate themselves , given that all streaming music services are practically the same. In the absence of differentiation by price and catalog, the only way is to be more competitive by offering differential services: more effective recommendation systems; messaging, social network and community generation; collaborative creation and UGC ; exclusive contents …
In the coming months we may see a strong commitment to differentiation (and not just Apple or Spotify), which may lead to new releases and more purchases of startups in the music sector. I think everything related to messaging and music sharing, related content such as videos, lyrics or scores, and finally everything that has to do with musical production for fans will live interesting times . Maybe it’s coincidence, but just yesterday a “broker” of M & A startups contacted us from Silicon Valley interested in the situation of Red Karaoke , and that is not something that happens every day; In fact it is the third time in 8 years.
I wonder if, apart from the obvious acquisition of startups that complement and improve the services they have, Apple, Spotify, Google and company will also be considering the production or purchase of exclusive content, following in the wake of Netflix, Amazon and HBO in the audiovisual world: what prevents Apple or Spotify to launch their own artists exclusively, disintermediating the record companies? It is much cheaper and infinitely less risky than making a TV series, and there is much to be gained … If Adele is trying new things as I said in my last post , will not the leading companies of streaming music do the same? I bet yes.