Earlier this week, Neil Young pulled his music from Spotify after falling out with the platform over Joe Rogan’s hosting and misinformation about COVID. So now, of course, rival streamer Apple Music courts Young and his fans and sends them away tweetsplaylists and even push notifications to label itself as ‘The home of Neil Young’.
It’s all a bit of theatrical folly, of course. Neil Young is a legendary songwriter, yes, but his presence or absence will not determine the fate of this or that streaming platform. He’s not Kanye or Taylor Swift. Instead, Apple is simply indulging in the time-honored corporate tradition of inserting itself into a relevant news cycle while things are going well.
The company hasn’t been subtle about it either. It even put a playlist of Young’s music up front in the “Browse” section under the headline “We Love Neil.”
Pettiness aside, the spit does highlight the differences between the two streamers. if The edgeAshley Carman pointed out in a piece that the decision to keep Rogan over Young turned out to be Spotify’s much more focus on podcasts in recent years as part of a broader plan to diversify content. Apple Music, on the other hand, presents itself more as a pure music sale (not least because Apple has its own separate podcast platform).
All the while this market triangulation continues, Spotify has actually lost a small market share against rivals. Recent data from analytics firm Midia Research showed that while Spotify was the most popular music streaming service by a wide margin in 2021, taking 31 percent of the market compared to second-place Apple Music’s 15 percent, that figure had fallen from a 33 percent market share in the year. 2020.
Spotify was still growing in line with the entire market in absolute subscriber numbers, but it illustrates that the company’s lead is certainly not guaranteed forever.