Apple Music finally decides to explain how the product works

Technically Incorrect: In new ads featuring DJ Khaled, Ray Liotta and Naomi Campbell, Apple Music tries to counter perceptions that its streaming service is confusing.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

DJ Khaled, the latest to try to sell you Apple Music.
Enlarge Image
DJ Khaled, the latest to try to sell you Apple Music.

DJ Khaled, the latest to try to sell you Apple Music.

Apple; YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Apple Music has always seemed a little presumptive.

In essence, you got the sense that its creators assumed everyone would gravitate toward the service simply because it came from the people who created Beats and had an Apple logo added to it.

That hasn't quite been the case.

Though Apple now claims 13 million paying subscribers -- some 17 million fewer than Spotify -- Apple Music doesn't yet feel like a dominant force in streaming.

Two main criticisms have been leveled at the service: It's not easy to use, and it's not clear that it's any different from Spotify. So why switch?

Apple Music's approach lately has been to use as many stars as possible to make it seem, well, the preferred choice if you care about your self-image.

Apple declined comment as to whether ease of use might still be a problem for the service.

Two new ads, however, choose to take at least a little time to suggest the service is, after all, easy to actually use. Both feature producer DJ Khaled.

In one, he's with actor Ray Liotta at the nail salon. Where else?

Liotta plays the neophyte who can't quite believe that thousands of songs can be on one little phone. This might seem very basic. Mock him all you will, but this, I suspect, is still the feeling of quite a few.

Especially those for whom the whole digital-music escapade has made music itself a less important part of their lives.

When your product has been the subject of a Reddit thread all about how confusing it is, perhaps it's best to begin with these very basics.

Naturally, Liotta wants a Doobie Brothers song. DJ Khaled shows him how simple it is to find and play just by speaking to your phone.

The second ad sees Khaled riding along in an open-top car with model Naomi Campbell.

It's a vehicle for featuring Khaled's new collaboration with Drake.

They stop by the ocean. Khaled again shows how easy it (allegedly) is to find his music on Apple's service and play it.

Then they kiss. She's clearly in love with the service. I'm not in love with the ad. It seems quite blessedly pointless.

Apple Music is trying to throw considerable money toward anyone it considers cool and famous. Recently, there was Taylor Swift, now DJ Khaled.

Buy the fame, buy the product.

But how many will really bother to ditch Spotify, just because some stars are shilling for its competitor?

People like Spotify. They find it easy to use and easy to enjoy. That remains Apple Music's biggest problem.