On Monday, February 25, an observant Google Home user spotted an Apple Music option in the app’s music services section, and we can definitely confirm, it’s there. Frustratingly, however, you can tap on that item all day long and nothing will happen. So clearly Apple Music is indeed making its way to Google’s smart speaker and the rest of the Google Home ecosystem, but when it will actually work remains a mystery.
When it does finally work, Apple Music will join the ranks of a select set of music services that work on all of the major smart speaker platforms. Apple Music was recently added to Amazon Alexa devices. It has always been the exclusive music service on Apple’s HomePod, and Sonos speakers have supported Apple Music for years.
It’s hard not to speculate that there must be a second act to this wide rollout of support for Apple’s streaming subscription service. Given that Apple likes to keep the spotlight on its own product announcements, rather than share the attention, it’s possible that once the dust has settled, Apple will provide us with the logical follow-up — that its HomePod will be adding support for both Google Play Music and Amazon Music. If this were to happen, the logical timing would be on March 25. That’s the hotly rumored date that the company will supposedly take the wraps off its new services platforms: Apple News, and Apple TV.
We’ve already heavily speculated that Apple’s TV service will be a massive curation of as many TV sources as it can corral, from cable and satellite providers to streaming giants such as Hulu, Amazon Video, and possibly even Netflix. If this is genuinely Apple’s strategy — to bring together all the big names and let users decide which to subscribe to — it would make sense for the company to take the same approach to its music platform and devices. That would mean more than just Apple Music on the HomePod.
We think it’s inevitable. HomePod sales, while not dismal, are far behind the competition. That’s partly because of the device’s high price tag when compared to other smart speakers, but we think the lack of music service choice has also hurt it. If a recent patent is any indication, Apple’s future HomePod plans are aggressive, to say the least. To succeed, Apple will need to fill that device with as much content as possible.