Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Over Half of Apple Music Subscribers Are Listening to Spatial Audio

Micah Singleton, Billboard:

Apple Music’s Spatial Audio push helps the company differentiate itself in a commoditized market. With every major music streaming service maintaining the same catalog of songs, an improved and easily noticeable audio experience would help the company separate itself from its competitors like Spotify. For the labels, remastering catalog music in Spatial Audio can reinvigorate streams around an album or artist and provide new artists with an additional promotional tool alongside the improved listening experience for fans.

[…]

“We now have more than half of our worldwide Apple Music subscriber base listening in spatial audio and that number is actually growing really, really fast,” says [VP of Apple Music and Beats Oliver] Schusser. “We would like the numbers to be higher, but they are definitely exceeding our expectations.”

Left unsaid by anyone in this article is that Spatial Audio is turned on by default for Apple Music users with AirPods or Beats connected to their device. Nevertheless, only a small part of the Apple Music catalogue is available in the format, so users still have to seek it out more deliberately than lossless, which Apple says is offered for every song it has.

In this interview, Schusser also emphasized that lossless audio does not work over current wireless headphones. Apple keeps dropping hints about its efforts to change that situation.