Here at Maven, there is often a subtle and subversive battle for control over the office music system. It's fair to say the fighting begins over genres.
Dan likes to fluctuate between dance and classical, Adam is helpless before a 90's one-hit-wonders playlist and Paul is always partial to starting the day with some Brit Pop anthems and the Support Team? Well, Sam and I get to put what we want on when the directors are out!
So, all in all, it's an eclectic mix.
With that being said, there is also a battle for which platform we use. And it's a battle I feel like I am losing. I am the sole user of Spotify in our office. That's a confession I almost feel ashamed of making. Almost.
Adam, Paul, Dan, and Sam all use Apple Music and have done ever since Apple gave users their free three-month trial, back in June 2015. I too tried that trial and was left slightly disappointed.
Now I admit that a huge part of that disappointment was due to the extremely high expectations I had after hearing that Apple were getting into the business of Music Streaming. I mean Apple don't do things by half measures and excellence tends to be their default position so of course I was going to love it! But the truth is I didn't, at the time. I think I was expecting so much that when I clicked on their name, the Beatles would actually turn up and play for me.
Once my trial ended with Apple Music I made my decision to go back to Spotify who I had used for a good year or so before. Loyalty should stand for something, right.
At the time it was a slower platform to load than Spotify (minor glitches expected with a newly launched service), it's playlists were equal in quality and variety, and my pet hate was that if I created a playlist full of one hit wonders, those artists would show up on my Artists homepage meaning I would have to cycle through the likes of Miley Cyrus, George Michael and Blue to get to the artists I genuinely liked.
All this to say that when I bring up these points to my colleagues they don't get angry, they just sit there smiling at me smugly like there's some secret I'm missing out on. Their response: "It's just better."
And there's something about the ease of which they use their Apple Music which I've grown slightly jealous of. The thing that, for Apple users, is of vital importance - INTEGRATION.
Apple Music's integration, not just with other Apple devices, but across the board is a beautiful, beautiful thing. The ease of connectivity, and especially the integration with Siri is a huge feature that other streaming platforms simply cannot compete with.
A small but significant moment occurred when Adam, Dan, and myself went to play football a month or so ago and we needed some music to get us in the mood. As the primary passenger, I took it upon myself to be DJ for the journey. So I'm there scrambling about looking for the aux cable and trying to change input in Dan's car radio so that we can listen to whatever banger I had undoubtedly lined up, fidgeting like a six year old, when Dan gently pressed a button on his steering wheel and quietly said: "Siri, play me some rock music." Within three seconds we were on our way to the game with AC/DC - Back in Black, playing as our motivational backing track.
That is just one of the many reasons why, although this is the first time I've admitted it publicly, Apple Music might just be winning me round.
The Apple Music interface looks cleaner and brighter than Spotify's, the Radio stations are vast and easily available, whilst the integration with iTunes Match makes me feel like it is sheer stubbornness which is keeping me on the dark side of the office. I think it's time to step into the light.