Welcome to the club

Published January 22, 2020

Record shop

You’ll know by now, I’m sure, that I’m obsessed with Oprah’s Book Club. The interactivity between online books, the show, the guidance, the discussion with the author, all of it appeals to me.

We recently saw the latest episode of the TV show, where Oprah talked to Elizabeth Strout about her latest work, and it was another good show - another, in fact, that Mr C enjoyed despite not having read the book. And a few days later, the next book choice has been announced, and I’m looking forward to reading it.

It occurred to me then, that Apple could do something similar to Oprah’s book club with music. They obviously have a lot going on with their Beats 1 radio station - there are new artists announced each month, lots of playlists of new things to listen to, many features of diving deep into new works from established artists, and suchlike.

But I think there are two areas it could be different and/or improved upon. Firstly that the show is on Apple TV+ with an excellent host. You know where to look for Oprah’s show, rather than having to delve into the frankly impossible navigation of Apple Music.

Secondly, the structure of the thing is slightly different. With the books, you’re told what to read, given time to read and digest it and then come to the author later to hear their thoughts once you’ve had a chance to figure out your own. The music side, at the moment, is a bit more random. You could also have two strands, if desired, for brand new works and maybe classics as well.

Of course one of the wonderful things about streaming music is the ability to listen to such a wide variety of stuff, have access to everything possible, and stumble across lots of new tracks. But equally, there’s no harm in a bit of hand-holding and structure in your discoveries. Come on, Apple, make it so!

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