If you’ve been following the Apple Music saga for the last couple of weeks, you’ve probably heard the news that the much-touted service could be in trouble. On Wednesday, MusicWatch, a record industry research and analysis firm, published a survey that says people are abandoning Apple Music.
According to the survey, 48 per cent of Apple Music users say they’ve stopped using the service despite the fact that it’s free until September 30th for anyone that signed up at launch. In addition, 61 per cent of those same people say they’ve turned off the option to auto-renew their subscription.
At face value, these statistics seem to suggest that Apple’s much talked about entry into music streaming is due for a course correction, but, as always, the actual story is more complicated than that.
When publications like the The Verge started to publish these statistics, Apple came out and said that 79 per cent of the people who have signed up for Apple Music are still using it.
To arrive at its numbers, MusicWatch interviewed some 5000 Americans consumers. Only 11 per cent of those surveyed said they’ve actually gone out and tried Apple Music, which means that MusicMatch based its findings on answers from about 550 people. For a service that, according to Apple, has 11 million subscribers, that’s an incredibly small sample size to extrapolate future intent.
Indeed, even a MusicMatch executive says we shouldn’t draw fast conclusions from the data his firm collected.
“I don’t think these results are necessarily a reflection of the quality of the service,” said Russ Crupnick, one of the firm’s managing partners, in an interview with Engadget. “Even those who said they aren’t using [Apple Music] at the moment, that doesn’t mean they never will,” he said. “Some of those folks could come back or they may just be more casual users.”
What this survey helps highlight is that until people actually start paying to use Apple Music, it’s a fun but ultimately less than useful exercise to speculate how it’s doing.
In other words, we’ll know a lot more in a few months.