I guess there’s a bit of schadenfreude to this—most Apple fans are strangely forgiving of the company’s missteps—but I point this out because it so clearly echoes Microsoft’s use of advertising in Windows and Office.
From Jason Snell—who is a good guy—at Macworld:
I accept that other people like listening to the prattling DJs, but I hate it and I will keep changing the channel until there’s a song I want to listen to again. I don’t want to hear about who is touring where, or who said something interesting at a show, or even the behind-the-scenes detail about how a song came to be written. Not when I’m just trying to listen to music.
That’s the great thing about streaming music services like Apple Music: whether you’re listening to a curated playlist or even a “radio station,” you can skip songs you don’t like and there’s no intrusion from voices. It’s all about the music.
Or at least, it was. But recently, Apple Music has made some changes, and they’re disastrous. A new tastemaker has apparently rolled into Apple Music HQ and decided that aggressive marketing to paying customers is the solution to a problem that literally nobody had. The result is a degraded Apple Music experience.
Apple has taken to inserting ads into its “ad-free” on-demand radio stations. Yes, they’re ads for other Apple Music radio shows, but does it matter? The fact remains that if you listen to an Apple Music streaming radio station like Classic Rock or Alternative, you will eventually hear a 40-second ad for Zane Lowe or Strombo or other pre-recorded Apple Music radio episodes. What was once an ad-free music experience is now punctuated by… promo copy.
There are plenty of ad-supported music services out there. What’s different about Apple Music’s curated playlists and radio stations is that we pay for them, and we expect them to be about the music, and nothing but the music.