Try to act surprised: Apple is set to unveil a completely revamped streaming music service next week during the annual Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco. The service will cost $10 per month, as expected, but contrary to some rumors there will indeed be a free streaming tier that is ad-supported. And as reported over the weekend, there will also be a series of high-profile guest DJs to help draw attention away from streaming music mainstays like Spotify and Pandora.
According to The Wall Street Journal’s report, it sounds like Apple’s new streaming music service will indeed take cues from the existing Beats Music service. Apple took ownership of Beats Music when it acquired Beats Audio last year, of course, and reports claimed the service was a major factor in Apple’s decision to buy the company.
One of the biggest draws of Beats Music is the curated radio stations that offer hand-picked tracks put together by familiar names in the industry. Apple plans to take that concept even further by enlisting the help of famous artists who will guest DJ on the service.
An earlier report named Pharrell Williams, Drake and David Guetta among the artists Apple is currently courting, and the company is supposedly coughing up eight-figure sums to secure the contracts.
Of note, the free streaming tier in Apple’s service will reportedly not give listeners access to the company’s entire music catalog. Instead, playlists curated by the aforementioned DJs will be the focus of the free tier.
The Wall Street Journal says Apple is fully prepared to cannibalize its music download business in favor of the company’s new streaming music service, which makes sense considering the increasing popularity of streaming services.