Updated – Apple Music Option Showing Up in Some Google Home Apps, But Only Available Through iOS Today
Matridox is reporting that Apple Music is now showing up in some users’ Google Home app as an option for music service account linking. However, the service appears to be non-functional today and may be rolling out a little ahead of actual integration. Max Buondonno, the founder of Matirdox publisher MBEDDED Media, says the new option is showing up in both Android and iOS for some users and he was a lucky recipient.
Apple Music Must Have Distribution Through Leading Smart Speakers
Apple Music originally was restricted to the company’s HomePod smart speaker but became available through Amazon Alexa in December 2018. Today, Apple Music is in a fierce global battle with Spotify and needs distribution. Smart speakers are an increasingly important source of streaming music listening. According to Voicebot research, listening to a streaming music service is the top monthly and daily use case employed by smart speaker owners. While consumers have been cementing their use of smart speakers as a key music listening device, Apple HomePod’s installed base market share has been falling from under 5% to less than 4% while Amazon Echo and Google Home continue to maintain 85% market share in the U.S. and in many global markets.
Alexa integration was important because it opened up access to over 60% of smart speaker owners in the U.S. and Google Home will provide Apple Music access to another 24%. Outside the U.S. in countries such as Canada and Australia, this move is even more important because Google commands over 60% market share. The latest music streaming subscriber numbers show Spotify with 96 million compared to Apple Music’s 50 million. Spotify is available through both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Apple is just trying to close that availability gap.
Limited to iOS Devices Today
Update February 27, 2019, 7:55am: a Google spokesperson told VentureBeat
Apple Music is currently only available for Google Assistant users on mobile phones. We have nothing to announce regarding updates to Google Home.
Indeed the language in the most recent Google Assistant app update for iOS reinforces this point. For Spotify, the language in the music account linking is “Available on Google Home, Assistant Speakers and Android TV devices.” By contrast, the listing for Apple Music says, “Only available on iOS devices.” This doesn’t help Apple much in its quest for wider distribution. iOS devices already have Apple Music access. Siri is also the native voice assistant on iOS, not Google Assistant which is just an app. There is really little reason to have Google Assistant access to Apple Music on iOS for anyone so why would you put forth effort for the integration unless you planned to make it available across other surfaces as well? I suspect Google was simply clarifying what is available now and were not ready to say when Apple Music will be available across other Google Assistant enabled devices.