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News December 14, 2018

Apple just dumped its latest social music feature, Connect

Senior Journalist, B2B
Apple just dumped its latest social music feature, Connect

As competition heats up in the streaming space, Apple Music just can’t seem to get a handle on its social skills.

On Thursday, the digital music platform quietly axed “Connect,” a rarely-used feature that allowed musicians and fans to “like” and comment on content.

An email to subscribers confirms the move: “Today we’re streamlining music discovery by removing Connect posts from Artist Pages and For You.” Apple will remove all Connect posts from Artist Pages and the For You section of Apple Music, though if any of your favourite musos did get away any messages, you’ll still be able to search for them until May 24.

And that’s all folks. A message posted Friday to adds, “Connect posts from artists are no longer supported.”

What a difference three years makes. Connect rolled out at WWDC 2015, where it was heralded as an essential bridge between artists and fans and an important cog to the-then new streaming service.

The geek gathering heard sales pitches from Drake and Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine, who declared the feature as one of the three major pillars of Apple Music, the others being its streaming music service and Beats Radio. Drake even promised to push his Views From The 6 album on the feature.

“Focus on your body of work,” Drizzy said. “Instead of having to post your stuff on these different and sometimes confusing places, it’s all in one place: Connect.”

Drake loved Connect

In the bloody, fast-moving world that is tech, businesses and features that aren’t hitting targets are road kill. Connect just got crushed under the wheels of the first trillion-dollar company, and few will be shedding tears over it. Why do we care? Well, it’s not the first time Apple has tried and failed with a social component. Remember iTunes Ping? Apple launched the feature in 2010, with the promise of connecting music fans and artists with bite-sized posts, and two years later it was dumped, squashed on the information superhighway.

With Connect gone, Apple Music is doubling down on its Artist Pages, which have been an “all-new design,” and the service boasts a new, personalised Artist Radio. “We’re always looking for ways to enhance our focus on artists and help them better connect to fans,” the company’s memo reads.

While Apple buries its latest social music mistfit, a potential super-power takes a stride as China’s Tencent Music Entertainment made its highly anticipated debut on the New York Stock Exchange. The tech firm, which is home to three of the market’s leading music streaming services in QQ Music, Kugou and Kuwo, opened with a market valuation of $21.3 billion. By the end of the first day’s trading, stock was up 9.2 percent at $14.19 per share with company raising close to $1.1 billion.

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.


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