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Apple doesn’t just want to beat rivals with its new music service, it wants to crush them

Published Jun 8th, 2015 9:05AM EDT
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Later today, Apple will unveil Apple Music, according to many sources familiar with the matter who have spoken to various publications and tech blogs long before WWDC 2015 kicked off. Now, a new report says the company is eying a major sales target for its upcoming streaming service, which would make it the top streaming music service in the world by a huge margin.

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According to a story from Associated Press published in The New York Times, a person with knowledge of the plans said that Apple wants to sign up 100 million subscribers for its new Apple Music service. Apple has not commented on the matter.

The service would cost $10 per month after a three-month free trial period, and Apple will also improve its free music streaming offering. iTunes Radio will receive a live online radio station featuring various well-knows DJs and other music stars including Zane Lowe, Pharrell, Drake, Muse and David Guetta.

Existing Beats Music subscribers would be migrated over to Apple Music, the AP said, and the service will be closed down. Buyers of songs and albums on iTunes will also be presented with the option of purchasing a subscription to Apple Music instead.

A report last week claimed that Apple Music will launch in several international markets alongside the U.S., with Apple interested in rolling it out after WWDC via an iOS 8.4 release for iPhone and iPad, and updated iTunes software for Mac and Windows.

Apple’s 100 million subscribers target seems rather bold, but the company has what it takes to pull it off. Specifically, Apple is currently home to more than 800 million iTunes accounts complete with credit cards, which are often used to purchase digital content including movies, music, apps and books. In fact, that’s one advantage Apple might have over rival streaming music services, one that was highlighted by Sony Music CEO Doug Morris, who practically confirmed that Apple Music is launching on Monday.

Currently, there are around 41 million people globally who pay for streaming music services including Spotify, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, and the number is on a steady increase. Subscription revenue grew 39% in 2014 to $1.6 billion, with music purchases having fallen 8% to $3.6 billion during the same period.

Chris Smith
Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.