Apple Launches Music Streaming Service to Rival Spotify and Pandora
Yes, you can ask Siri to play her favourite Kendrick Lamar song.
June 09, 2015
The Game of Streaming Services has a new, long-awaited and undeniably powerful player vying for the throne. Apple have unleashed their streaming champion, Apple Music, announced at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) at San Francisco's Moscone Centre today.
Apple Music is set to launch on June 30, locked in for $10 a month (or $15 for the family plan, designed for up to six people). For this monthly fee, you'll get access to the full Apple Music library, 'expert recommendations', Apple's own curated lists of new music, and unlimited skips on Apple's radio stations. Will it work? Can Apple successfully sweep Beats Music under the rug? We're keen to try it out.
So where's all this music coming from? Apple Music is linked directly to iTunes, iTunes on-demand and the cloud — we're talking 30 million songs. The streaming service combines music you've bought with music you haven't bought. The new Apple Music interface will show you music videos and artist pages, as well as 'For You' recommendations (one of Spotify, Pandora, Tidal's biggest opportunities for sweet, sweet business). All playlists will be user or DJ generated; a big bird-flip from Apple over algorithm-generated playlisting.
Recommendations will also come from the social network element of Apple Music, Connect. Made particularly for artists, the service allows artists to make their own pages (or their labels, managers etc.), allowing artists to share new music and users access to behind the scenes content, photos, interviews, B-sides (yep, all the extra bits Tidal is offering). There's no word yet on the royalties artists will receive (Spotify and Pandora, for example, don't have the most ethical fees around), so watch this space.
Radio plays a big role in Apple Music too, with the Beats 1 service (the one BBC's Zane Lowe left his top radio host spot for this year) announced by Apple's Jimmy Iovine today. Apple is calling this the world's first truly global radio station, one which will broadcast 24 hours a day to over a hundred countries worldwide from bases in New York, London and LA.
In case you're wondering whether Siri will have her say in Apple Music, you're bang on the money. You can ask Siri to play her favourite song, bring up playlists, or use the service like Shazam with questions like, "Siri, play the LL Cool J song from the end of Deep Blue Sea." Boom. Streamed.
Apple Music will be available on Mac, iOS, Apple TV on June 30 and (wait for it) PC and Android later this year. Apple are offering three-month trial membership so you can test it out for yourself.
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