Apple Inc. (AAPL), Google Inc (GOOG): Who Has The Pressure Now?

Page 1 of 2

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) unveiled a slate of new upgrades on Wednesday at its I/O conference. Chief among them is a music subscription service to rival Spotify, Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P), and a potential product from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). It’s calling it Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play Music All Access – a name almost as catchy as a Ke$ha song!

Last year, streaming services accounted for 10% of digital music revenues. That number ought to grow higher this year as subscription rates continue to grow much faster than the rest of the industry. The addition of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will surely add fire to the flame.

Google’s service isn’t particularly innovative or special. In fact, it doesn’t even pose that big of a threat to Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) or Spotify. It’s really more of a threat to Apple than any other company.

Why is Google really getting into music streaming?

Like a lot of things Google does, it didn’t get into music streaming for the money. Digital music is a very low margin business, and streaming is generally worse.

Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) captured 70% of the streaming internet radio market, grew its user base to over 200 million, and reached more listeners than widespread broadcast radio company Clearchannel, but still hasn’t turned a profit. The culprit is the company’s high cost of content.

Pandora paid out 55.9% of its revenue in royalty fees in 2012. Spotify is estimated to pay close to 70% of revenue. Comparatively, satellite radio pays an average of 9%.

Making a profit in streaming is not likely the goal for Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) with All Access. I believe it’s a move to make its Android operating system stickier.

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) unveiled All Access by demonstrating it on an Android phone. The interface is clean and intuitive and echoes that of its Google Now feature. Interestingly, the service is not available for iOS or Windows Phone.

Creating loyal users

iPhone users are much more likely to purchase another iPhone as their next phone compared to the likelihood of Android users buying another Android phone. A survey last fall revealed that 22% of Android users planned to switch to the iPhone, while just 9% of iPhone users said they’d switch to an Android phone. While this survey was conducted just before the release of the iPhone 5, Apple’s brand loyalty is unparalleled.

Whether Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) will extend All Access to non-Android devices remains to be seen, but in all likelihood development will focus first, if not solely, on Android. Compatibility and integration are ensured with a more closed system, which is sure to keep the user experience fantastic. And when users are paying $10 a month, the user experience better be fantastic.

Keeping the platform pay-only and Android-only would create more Android loyalty. It creates a higher switching cost for those thinking of defecting from the Android family. The longer someone uses the service, the less likely they are to unsubscribe as they’d be left with stale music from before they signed up for the service. For hipsters like me, that’s unacceptable.

The pressure is on Apple

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), not to be left behind, is also developing a streaming-music platform. The company has been a dominant force in digital music since it released the iPod and opened the iTunes store more than a decade ago.

Page 1 of 2
Comments
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months. Our beta is only 1.2 (don't click this link if beating the market isn't important to you).

Lists

Cheapest Cities to Visit in the US

Most Expensive Summer Camps

Most Expensive Animals in the World

Most Expensive Specialty Crops in the World

Movies That Took Ages to Make

The Longest Hollywood Films Ever Made

Most Expensive Concert Stages

The Richest Bands of all Time

10 Most Corrupt Countries 2013 List

10 Countries with the Highest Quality of Life Index

Most Expensive Mattresses in the World

5 Smallest Countries by Land Area

The Ultimate Heartbreak Songs

Richest Teenagers in the World

10 Most Haunted Places in America

10 Best Places to Retire in Florida East Coast

Top 10 Places to See Before You Die

Top 8 Countries in the World Where Justice Prevails

10 Richest States in America

15 Wealthiest Countries in the World

Richest Singers in the World

Most Expensive Tasting Menu in New York City

Most Expensive Baby Items in the World

Most Expensive Hotel Suites in Vegas

Most Expensive Brunch in New York City

Most Expensive Beef Cuts in the World

25 Best Colleges to Get a Job

Top 10 US Supermarkets

The 25 Most Dangerous Cities in the World to Visit

Most Expensive Xbox Games

Top 11 Cities Where Billionaires Live

Top 10 Most Charitable Companies in America

Most Expensive Seafood in the World

The 10 Wildest Conspiracy Theories

The 10 Best Job Markets in the US

Top 10 Accounting Scandals of All Time

The 25 Biggest Cities in the World

Top 10 Best Paying Virtual Jobs

Most Expensive Leather Shoes in the World

Top 6 Things to Buy in March

The 10 Most Stressful Jobs in America – 2014 List

Top 10 Jobs for Introverted People

Top 10 Honeymoon Destinations in the World

Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs in the World

Most Expensive Day-Care in New York City

The 10 Cheapest Places to Retire Abroad

Top 10 Most Expensive Luxury Cars in the World – 2014

Killer Small Business Ideas

The 50 Best Personal Finance Blogs

Most Expensive Apartments in New York City

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 47.6% in its first year! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!