The Apple has finally fallen on streaming, as the tech giant announces ‘Apple Music’- a streaming platform that will also feature a 24-hour global radio station, social media portal, download store and carefully curated playlists.
Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the much-anticipated service at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco this week (8th June), following an introduction from rapper Drake and a video documenting the history of music. Remember- this is apple pie, not humble pie.
Beats Co-founder and veteran industry exec Jimmy Iovine said: “Apple Music is really going to move the needle for fans and artists. Online music has become a complicated mess of apps, services and websites. Apple Music brings the best features together for an experience every music lover will appreciate”.
The service will also include its own 24/7 live global radio station called Beats 1, broadcast simultaneously from London, LA and New York, with presenters including recently poached former BBC presenter Zane Lowe. iOS users will be able to listen to this station for free, despite all of the current white noise around freemium model not working for the industry in the long-term.
Apple Music will launch in over 100 countries on 30th June, with a free three-month trial period. Following this, it will cost $9.99 per month or $14.99 for a ‘family plan’ for up to six family members being able to use the service. Localised pricing, including for the UK, is yet to be announced and it will also be available on Android, albeit minus the free version of Beats 1.
All of the collective rhetoric of Apple and Beats up to this point has focused on the importance of human curation within streaming and Apple Music playlists will be compiled by “The most talented music experts from around the world, dedicated to creating the perfect playlists based on your preferences”.
‘Apple Connect’ is the social aspect of the service, in which artists can share lyrics, backstage photos, videos or release their latest song directly to fans directly from their iPhone. Fans can comment on or like anything an artist has posted, and share it via various social media platforms.
In the opposite of the human touch, users will also be able to argue with a fully integrated Siri about important issues such as the best Neil Young album and the finest song released in 1997.
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Generate Debate: Unsurprisingly ambitious, Apple Music is here and is set to challenge not only the dominance of Spotify but every other digital player and other platforms including radio. Are you on-board? Will you have any choice when this hits and can’t be deleted in the next iOS upgrade? Can Spotify survive or will Apple become the core streaming experience?
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