Apple’s smart speaker, arriving Friday, may be the best answer yet to the question “why Apple Music?”
From Apple’s Middle Age, mailed (several times) Monday to Thompson’s Stratechery subscribers:
Most commentary has assumed that:
- Customer wants HomePod
- Therefore, customer subscribe to Apple Music
- Apple profits
[T]his doesn’t make sense because Apple Music isn’t profitable!
Instead, I think the order goes like this:
- Customer owns an iPhone
- Customer subscribes to Apple Music because it is installed by default on their iPhone
- As an Apple Music subscriber, customer only has one choice in smart speakers: HomePod (and to make the decision to spend more money palatable, Apple pushes sound quality), from which Apple makes a profit
Strategically speaking, the point of services is to differentiate hardware. To that end, HomePod is not exclusive to Apple devices to prop up Apple Music; rather, Apple Music is exclusive to HomePod to sell speakers.
My take: I’m still struggling with “why HomePod?” I’ll find out soon enough, I suppose. Mine is scheduled for Friday delivery.