Music Week has been given an extended preview of the upcoming Apple Music redesign, scheduled for later this autumn.
The tech giant recently opened its Regent Street office to a select audience, offering guests a chance to get hands-on with the new-look app. It even had a couple of high-ranking Apple executives on-hand - Oliver Schusser, vice president, iTunes international, and Robert Kondrk, vice president, Apple content and media apps - to welcome the visitors. However, in true Apple style, they declined to comment on any aspect of the redesign or their hopes for the service over the coming year.
Essentially, what was offered was a more practical look at the redesign, which was originally announced at last month’s WWDC. And, it has to be said, the changes look promising.
A cleaner looking user interface makes navigating the app quicker and simpler than before, opening up on the user’s library, which also now has a Recently Added section.
The For You section has now been updated to feature a Discover Mix function, which complies new playlist every week of songs you might like – essentially a response to Spotify’s Discover Weekly feature.
Elsewhere, the Browse tab replaces the New tab, featuring charts and lists of new releases. It also provides lists of songs from other artists that you may like, as well as playlists centred on particular themes. It can pull together music from two separate yet similar artists. For example, Music Week was shown a Katy Perry vs Taylor Swift list, compiling an equal number of songs from each artist.
Furthermore, there is now an option to dislike tracks, as opposed to just liking track, adding to the personal experience by recognising what users are not so keen on.
As far as Beats 1 is concerned, there wasn’t quite as much to report other than that it will continue to draft in world-beating artists to present themed shows and that users will now be able to download and listen to shows at anytime. Users will also be able to add songs that they like during radio show directly to their library. So, if Zane Lowe is playing a track users like the sound of, they’ll be able to add it to their library simply by pressing the Add button.
A year on from its launch and Apple Music has amassed 15 million worldwide subscribers, making it the fastest streaming platform to reach that number. And, while it’s unlikely that a redesign alone will drive that number significantly higher in year two, it will certainly be interesting to see how its rivals in the market respond once it is rolled out later this autumn.