Worldwide Twitter reaction to Apple Music launch reveals Spotify is still in the running

Apple Music might not sound death knell for Spotify, according to an analysis of the worldwide Twitter reaction following its launch yesterday.

Apple Music combines a music streaming service, an always on global radio spearheaded by former Radio 1 presenter Zane Lowe and a social network for music fans to follow artists they're interested in. Apple is offering people free, three-month trials of the service, which will then cost £9.99 a month.

Rival Spotify has 75 million customers, but some analysts believe that Apple will convert a lot of these to its service, particularly if they are iOS users who will be able to integrate Apple Music seamlessly with their devices.

However, social media has fast become an effective way to measure public feeling toward topics, people and new products and analytics firm TheySay, which was spun out of the University of Oxford, has summed up reactions to the Apple Music launch.

It found that the service, which launched yesterday, received 84,845 mentions on Twitter, 24 percent of which were from unhappy commentators.

TheySay co-founder and Oxford professor Dr Karo Moilanen said: "Compared to the sky-high positive sentiment ratings that Apple products and announcements typically reach on Twitter, this time Apple Music invoked a healthy dose of strong negative sentiment amongst tweeters."

However, she added that, "overall, the new service was liked, particularly around playlists and clever recommendations, a curated ad-free radio, smooth interoperability with other Apple services AND Apple expanding to and conquering new areas.

"Predictably, Taylor Swift featured prominently (and positively) in the social commentary in that many tweeters attributed the three-month free trial offer to her."

Analysis of positive versus negative mentions on social media found Spotify had 32 percent positive and 12 percent negative, whereas Apple Music received 29 percent positive and 9 percent negative.

TheySay analyses hundreds of thousands of tweets and social comment during big events to give an indication of the world's reaction. It claims to be the "most advanced and accurate of its kind", not merely detecting positive and negative sentiment but 'softer' human emotions like humour and sarcasm.


Margi Murphy

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