Apple Music and the fight back to the top

Simon Dyson/Ovum

OvumTech giant Apple has launched its new music service Apple Music. In a typically glitzy presentation at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet software and services, detailed the three components of the widely anticipated service – a streaming service, a global radio station, and a way for artists to share content directly with their fans.

So there we have it. After what seems like months of speculation, Apple has finally taken the wraps off its shiny new music streaming service. In customary style, the nuts and bolts of the new music offering were laid out for all the world to see in the opening keynote presentation of the company’s WWDC. As it turned out, the music service was the “one more thing” moment at the end of the keynote. If we are being picky, it should have been “three more things.”

What is included?

What Apple launched is the most all-encompassing music service available in the world. Apple Music is a streaming service that includes all the 30 million tracks currently available through the iTunes Music Store. Curation is to figure heavily in the new service with a number of music experts from around the world creating playlists based on users’ preferences.

A new “for you” section of Apple Music provides a personalized mix of albums, new releases, and playlists. Also included in the new service is a new global radio station, Beats 1, which will broadcast live for 24 hours each day from Los Angeles, New York, and London. According to the Apple PR, Beats 1 will offer exclusive interviews, guest hosts, and the latest music news and information. The third component of Apple’s new music offering is Connect, an initiative that allows artists to share lyrics, backstage photos, videos, and new music directly with fans.

All three parts of the new service will be available in more than 100 countries from the end of June through all the usual Apple hardware (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Mac) as well as PCs. Later this year, the services will be rolled out to Apple TV and, for the first time, Android phones. Users will initially be offered a three month free trial, after which they will pay $9.99 per month. There is also a family plan providing access for up to six family members for $14.99 per month.

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