Apple bought Beats Music to improve its standing in the streaming music marketplace, but the Cupertino company has its work cut out if it wants to compete with high-profile rivals Spotify and Pandora. According to App Annie metrics cited by CNET, Beats Music continues to trail its rivals in two important App Store metrics -- downloads and revenue.
In the App Annie download rankings, Beats Music places ninth behind other music apps such as Shazam, GarageBand, SoundCloud and iHeartRadio. This lower ranking is undoubtedly affected by service pricing, as Beats Music requires a subscription while both Pandora and Spotify offer free, ad-supported options in their mobile apps.
By revenue, Apple's Beats Music benefits from its subscription model, ranking third behind market leaders Pandora Radio, which grabs the number one spot, and number two Spotify. The revenues measured in these metrics compromise only App Store payments to download the app and in-app purchases which include monthly subscription fees. It does not account for additional sources of revenue, such as advertising which is used extensively by Spotify and Pandora. Still, Beats is showing some improvement according to App Annie's statistics, moving up three spots on the revenue chart.
Apple purchased Beats Music as part of a larger $3 billion acquisition that also included Beats' popular line of audio products. Apple reportedly is planning to overhaul the Beats Music service with a refresh slated to debut early next year. The company allegedly also is in negotiations with music industry executives about slashing the monthly subscription cost, perhaps as much as in half to $5 per month.