I recently purchased an Apple Watch Series 3 to test and to my surprise, the watch does not have a native Spotify and Pandora app. Not all Apple Watch Series 3 have an LTE connection mine does because I bought it through Verizon, but this was kind of a concern to me and I will tell you why.
I have been on a major fitness kick lately trying to lose weight and get healthier. I have AirPods and they are great I figured the Apple Watch would be a great companion to my Apple headphones that’s why I picked the Apple Watch. The first negative about the watch was there is NO Spotify or Pandora app on the Apple Watch Series 3.
Spotify was rumored to release a WatchOS app at Apples WWDC and that never happen so the only way to stream music from my watch is to get Apple Music. On my first jog earlier, this week I went to play music and realized I had no cell service so I then offlined a bunch of playlists to my Apple Watch Series 3.
To me signing up for Apple music at $9.99 month is no big deal I have a Spotify family account and it kind of stinks that I need an Apple Music Subscription, but I have MacBook Pro, iPhone 8, AirPods, iPad Mini and now Apple Watch so the $9.99 month will not be wasted. Not to mention thinking about it I buy a lot of Apple hardware but have bought little to nothing from Apple echo system besides a few apps from App Store, so I am sure this will make Tim Cook happy to read this 😉
I started looking around and this not something just Apple is doing to help get subscribers in the wearable or fitness market. I found that Garmin only works Deezer and iHeartRadio. I then found a few sets of low-end Android headphones that only allow offlining of music with a premium iHeartradio account.
I noticed that Spotify really only worked with the Gear S2 / S3, Gear Fit 2, Gear Fit 2 Pro and Gear Sport.
Fitbit only works with a paid Deezer account and Pandora. Surprisingly enough Fitbit used to work with Microsoft Groove. Sorry Groove even the popularity of Fitbit could not save you from the slow Microsoft consumer market death. RIP Zoon!
One constant I did notice is that iHeartRadio works with almost all of the wearables and some wireless headsets but you still can only use Apple Music to stream on the watch via LTE without your phone.
This got me thinking again about how Apple is pushing ahead of Spotify in the subscription music market I was wondering if this is due to the wearable market. If Apple continues to be the only music carrier on the Apple Watch Series 3 and future watch releases Apple could continue to creep ahead of Spotify. The Apple Watch is getting more and more popular especially with the addition of the freedom of not needing to be connected to your phone with the LTE enabled Apple Watch Series 3.
Many people at my gym when I asked them “What music service are you using?”
They replied, “Apple Music it works with my Apple Watch.”
I did not see anyone with a Samsung Gear and I noticed three people with Garmins and guess what they were using iHeartradio for their music. I noticed two people with Fitbits using Pandora then I noticed how much the wearable market has grown in the fitness industry and how late to the game I am with this tech. I did see several people using their phones and wireless speakers to listen to iHeartradio they really seem to have a grip on that fitness industry for some reason.
This will be a fun market to watch and see how the streaming music market works here but one thing I did notice was no one was using Google Music and no one had any Wear OS devices which play Google Music, Pandora and iHeartradio.
Just like Amazon Echo and Google Home helped Spotify and Pandora get new listeners I think companies like Garmin, Fitbit, and Apple are using their smart bands to push users to their music platform or a platform that paid for exclusivity on certain hardware.
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