The Apple Music tripod just lost one of its legs. When the service launched in 2015, Apple promoted three foundations that made Apple Music unique: music streaming, Beats Radio, and the social hub Connect. Now Apple will have to revise history to show that the service stands only on two legs. As of today, Apple Music Connect is practically shutting down, save for a few traces, leaving artists less connected with their fans.
Apple probably didn‘t need a third pillar. Its collection of music and its industry clout would have probably been enough to sell Apple Music. But it wanted to go further and differentiate it from the likes of Spotify while, at the same time, subtly throwing shade at its then would be rivals.
It billed Apple Music as a good home for artists, especially indies that are trying to break into the industry. In addition to being able to spread their music through the service, Apple Music’s Connect feature allowed artists to, well, connect with their fans, which mostly meant making posts, updating statuses, sharing tidbits, etc. In other words, Apple Music was meant to be a one-stop shop for fans to find all they need about their favorite artists.
But as big as Apple was in the Music and even tech industry, it was a non-player in social networks. After an initial period of hype, artists went back to their old habits and old haunts, mostly Instagram. Connect became like a ghost town and after moving it from its own tab to a section of the app’s “For You” tab, Apple has decided to just close it down altogether. Sadly with very little warning, too.
Effective immediately, artists will no longer be able to post on Connect. Already existing content will still be searchable at least until May 24 next year. Considering it was a rarely used feature, it will most likely have no effect on Apple Music but it’s still regrettable that such a key feature would have ended up in an inglorious death.