With music streaming well on its way towards overtaking digital downloads, all eyes this June will be on Apple as the company is set to unveil its highly anticipated music streaming service at WWDC. While most rumors regarding Apple’s Beats Music reboot have thus far focused on price (expect a $9.99/month pricepoint), Mark Gurman over at 9to5Mac just published the most detailed look yet into the type of features that will help differentiate Apple’s streaming music service from the pack.
First off, we can say goodbye to Beats Streaming. Gurman, who has a nearly impeccable record when it comes to Apple rumors, relays that Apple will be calling its new streaming service Apple Music. Not the most original name, but if the service delivers, it won’t matter all that much.
But onto some of the cooler features Apple has been working on.
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According to the report, Apple Music will incorporate a heavy degree of social networking integration from the artist side of the equation. What this means is that artists will be able to maintain “their own pages within the streaming music service that they can use to post track samples, photos, videos, and concert updates.” What’s more, artists will have the ability to use their own page to promote other bands if they so choose.
This could potentially be a nifty little feature depending on if and how artists opt to use it. Welcome back, Ping?
This is certainly an interesting strategy Apple is taking here. Instead of creating a social network for users to connect with other users, Apple is facilitating a one way communication exchange between artists and fans. It’ll be interesting to see a) how this is implemented and b) how it ultimately resonates with music lovers.
As for other tidbits regarding Apple Music, Gurman notes that Apple’s new service will let current Beats Music subscribers import their libraries over to the company’s new music service. That said, it seems that the Beats branding will be all but eliminated from everything aside from headphones and speakers. Again, while not the biggest deal, it’ll be unfortuante to see a great name like Beats Music fall by the wayside in favor of the exceedingly more bland Apple Music moniker. Gurman notes that Apple’s new music service will be introduced at WWDC but won’t actually go live until the end of June, which in Apple vernacular, might very well be June 30.
Apple Music will of course be entering a market already populated with great streaming services, from Pandora to Spotify. That being the case, Apple has reportedly tried to convince record labels to stop supporting Spotify’s free tier, not to mention music video streaming via YouTube. Speaking to The Verge about Apple’s tactics, one music industry insider said: “All the way up to Tim Cook, these guys are cutthroat.”
It’s also worth mentioning that Apple has reportedly asked upwards of a dozen big name artists, including Florence and the Machine, to agree to exclusive content deals, whether it be for full albums or even for a select number of songs.