Apples and oranges...er, Spotify, Pandora, etc - how about a realistic comparison?
C'mon, El Reg....we expect you to be outrageous, and love you for it, but this pitiful clickbait is unworthy of the Snarkmeister of IT.
No, I'm not defending or complimenting Apple's music service. It's not up to snuff yet, not by a long shot.
But the "virtually no one" headline, and the rather absurd comparison between number of subscribers to long-standing, quite different services vs. a fledging one, is yet another example of rehashed tweets masquerading as journalistic analysis.
Has everyone forgotten Spotify's early days? The multiple security problems? The limits they placed on number of plays? The lack of mobile service at launch? The multiple and confusing subscription plans? Etc.?
Or that Pandora's business and service model is completely different from either, and difficult to compare?
Pandora, for example, has been around since about 2004 in some form or another. That's 11 years, and even now it's not available worldwide. Plus the majority of its revenue comes from advertising, not subscriptions. Most of its users are on the free service - maybe 5% are paying subscribers. And if industry figures are correct, they've lost almost half their users in the past 3 years.
Re Spotify, I don't usually quote Wikipedia, but the figures checked out, and it's succinctly phrased: "Spotify was launched in October 2008 by Swedish startup Spotify AB. On 15 September 2010, the service had approximately 10 million users, including 2.5 million users with paid subscriptions."
So after 2 years Spotify only had 7.5 million FREE subscribers, and until 2012 discriminated against non-US free users by limiting them to 5 plays per song. Even by August of 2012, almost 4 years after inception, they had a mere 4 million paid subscribers.
A sloppy, amateurish comparison of a new service (even one from Apple) to products that vary wildly, have already gone through years of adjustments and tweaks, and which have received their own billions of dollars in capital injections, provides no useful benchmark for how Apple's service compares in any realistic terms.
On a slightly different note: a fun idea for a future article would be to compare the status of ALL competing services at the 1-year mark, including some intelligent commentary on how current technology might have altered their history for better or worse.
This, however, is piffle.