During the WWDC 2015 keynote on Monday, Apple unveiled its long-awaited music streaming service, Apple Music. It wasn’t much of a surprise after weeks worth of leaks spoiled most of the service’s features, but it was still exciting to see the original king of digital music enter the latest (and most competitive) arena.
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Now that the excitement of the reveal is out of the way, we figured we’d take a moment to cover some of the best features of Apple Music.
Radio on the Internet. Not exactly a novel idea, but having great international DJs like Zane Lowe spinning tracks on an always-on station sounds like it could be more than a gimmick. As with any great radio station, listeners will form a connection with the hosts and shows, which could keep them around longer than they might have stayed otherwise.
I’m going to give Apple the benefit of the doubt on this one. We already saw a prototype of Connect with the quickly forgotten Ping, which failed so spectacularly that few iPhone owners even remember it existed.
For Connect to succeed, artists are going to need to be incredibly active on the service and users are going to have to find remixes, photos and updates they can’t find anywhere else. Otherwise, I’ll just follow Drake on Twitter.
The $9.99/month subscription fee is pretty much standard as far as streaming music platforms go, but where Apple is really taking a bite out of the competition is with its Family Membership. For just $5 more, a family of up to six people can access Apple Music on their device.
All six members will have their own playlists and their own suggestions, but they’ll be paying significantly less than they would with their own separate accounts.
The best thing about Apple Music is that you don’t have to pay a dime to try it out. Your first three months with the service are completely free, so you can test Apple Music on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or PC. The service is even coming to Android in the fall.
All in all, Apple Music didn’t blow me away. More competition for other streaming music platforms is welcome, but with a cluttered UI and a lack of focus, Apple Music is going to have to rely on its namesake to draw a crowd. Thankfully for Eddy Cue and Jimmy Iovine, its namesake is considered infallible by plenty of users, so I don’t see Apple Music struggling out of the gate.
Apple Music will launch with iOS 8.4 in over 100 countries on June 30th.
For more news from Apple’s big WWDC 2015 keynote, visit our WWDC 2015 hub!