Apple Music Connect appears to slowly be going the way of iTunes Ping. Apple has started notifying Apple Music artists that it is removing the ability for artists to post content to Apple Music Connect, and previously posted Apple Music Connect content is being removed from the For You section and Artist Pages in Apple Music. Connect content will still be viewable through search results on Apple Music, but Apple is removing artist-submitted Connect posts from search in May…
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Here’s the announcement that artists are receiving today:
We’ve made a few changes to Apple Music that we’d like to tell you about.
We’re always looking for ways to enhance our focus on artists and help them better connect to fans. So we’ve given Artist Pages an all-new design and added new, personalized Artist Radio.
Today we’re streamlining music discovery by removing Connect posts from Artist Pages and For You. This means you’ll no longer be able to post to Connect as of December 13, 2018, but all previously uploaded content will still be searchable until May 24, 2019. You can still create Artist Playlists with the latest version of Apple Music.
Apple also says “Connect posts from artists are no longer supported” on this support document.
Apple Music Connect debuted with the launch of Apple Music as a way for artists to reach fans directly through the music app. While there was a flood of content at launch, the feature hasn’t been developed much since then and it has shown — many artists only have content from when the feature debuted.
As a result, Apple has demoted Connect from a dedicated tab in the Music app to a section buried below music recommendations and personalized playlists in the For You section.
Apple also uses the section to post content from its own music collections of curated categories (which may still happen?) but it certainly sounds like Connect as a platform will all but be abandoned by May 2019.
Apple Music has done well with other social features that iTunes Ping sort of tried to tackle years earlier.
For example, Apple Music users can follow each other and share play activity as a way to recommend music on the platform. Apple also has an automated playlist that recommends music weekly based on what friends are listening to.
Apple Music still has opportunities to integrate features that benefit artists and fans alike. For instance, Apple could integrate concert ticket sales in Apple Music and make it even easier to know when artists in your library release new music (subscribers receive sporadic notifications for now).
Apple Music is typically updated annually alongside platform updates for iOS, so perhaps we’ll see more features come to Apple Music when iOS 13 is previewed in June at WWDC. For now, it certainly looks like Apple Music is pulling back heavily on Connect.