On Monday, June 8th, Apple will unveil its streaming music offering at WWDC 2015, but our knowledge about the service is still fairly limited. We know it will likely be called Apple Music and reports have claimed it will have a monthly subscription fee of $9.99, but according to the Financial Times, the launch of Apple Music will also signal the death of the iTunes brand.
A new report from the Financial Times notes that while Steve Jobs once referred to iTunes as the “intersection of technology and the liberal arts,” it will soon exist only as the name of the digital store. Apple Music will be the new umbrella under which the company’s music initiatives will fall.
Apple will surely do plenty to differentiate its service from Spotify, Pandora and other music streaming competitors, but perhaps most notably, Apple Music will not feature a free, ad-supported tier. Paid subscriptions will be the only way to access the service, but FT says that users will have access to the three-month free trial when they first sign up.
Apple Music might not have a free option, but iTunes Radio is reportedly getting a facelift, courtesy of ex-Beats executive Ian Rogers. Famous DJ Zane Lowe was also recently brought on by Apple, presumably to participate in the revamped radio service.
According to the report, Apple would need twice as many subscribers as Spotify in order to generate the same revenue that iTunes generates today. Luckily for Apple, they have the reserves to advertise Apple Music until everyone on the planet knows about it.
“What counts as serious money to Apple has rather shifted over the years, but that doesn’t mean music isn’t important,” Dan Cryan, digital media analyst at IHS, tells FT. “The whole brand is quite tied into music, because of the long legacy of the iPod, and within the company it seems to have a certain resonance.”