Apple changed the way we listened to music with its release of the iPod, and changed the way we purchased music with iTunes.
The music industry changed even more with the proliferation of smartphones and music streaming apps such as Spotify, iHeartRadio and Pandora. Now Apple is set to shake it up once again.
A streaming service from the tech giant has been expected for sometime, as Apple tries to lure back iTunes customers who have made the switch to such streaming services.
According to Venturebeat, the long-awaited rumour was confirmed by Sony Music EO Doug Morris, a day before Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference., which takes place from June 8-12 in San Francisco. Observers were expecting Apple to announce its music service at the conference, but it seems Morris beat them to it.
“It’s happening tomorrow,” Morris said during an interview at the Midem music industry conference in Cannes.
The service, tipped as Apple Music, comes after Apple acquired subscription streaming music service Beats Music and Beats Electronics in 2014, for a cool US$2.6 billion.
“Music is such an important part of all of our lives and holds a special place within our hearts at Apple,” Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said at the time. “That’s why we have kept investing in music and are bringing together these extraordinary teams so we can continue to create the most innovative music products and services in the world.”
The new service will likely be offered as a free trial for one to three months, however Apple is not expected to offer free streaming in the same way other streaming services such as Spotify does. After the trial period, users will have to pay for the service.
According to a report on recode.net, a new version of iTunes Radio will feature music curation by music artists, including popular DJs and musicians, not just by computers.
The service is expected to be priced at around US$9.99/month.
Spotify, in contrast, has recently announced it is venturing into video and podcast streaming, but will it be enough to keep its users from choosing Team Apple?