Human Curation and the App Store

Jean-Louis Gassée, on the return of human curation against algorithms:

For a while now, music downloads have paled when compared to apps — hence Apple’s move to a streaming service. But there’s another idea lurking in there: If it’s a good idea to use human curators to navigate 30 million “songs”, how about applying human curation to help the customer find his or her way through the 1.5M apps in the Apple App Store? Apple bought Beats for $3B and spent a good chunk more to build its Music product. Why not take another look at the App Store jungle and make customers and developers even happier?

I was thinking about just this last week, when Apple Music debuted at the same time Brent Simmons reignited the debate over the state of the indie developer market in the post-App Store world.

The App Store has long recommended apps in the Featured tab, but Apple Music doesn’t just bring curation, it brings personalities. Beats 1 isn’t just curated, it’s curated by DJs who are front and center: Ebro Darden, Julie Adenuga, and Zane Lowe. What would the equivalent of Beats 1 be for apps? Something like a year-round, non-stop Apple Design Awards.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015