Apple Music, as Apple puts it, is “One single app on your iPhone” that is the front-end for a “Revolutionary music service.” Apple Music will cost $9.99 per month for individuals, and will scale to $14.99 a month for a family plan that covers six individuals. And if you want to simply get your feet wet with the service, Apple will provide three months of the service for free.
Taking a look at Apple Music, it is composed of a few different parts. You of course will be able to stream over 30 million music tracks that are currently available from iTunes, which are enhanced with human-curated playlists. Apple Music will use the tracks you’re already purchased from the iTunes Music Store along with tracks you may have ripped from CDs to make better recommendations for your music streaming habits.
“We love music, and the new Apple Music service puts an incredible experience at every fan’s fingertips,” said Eddy Cue, Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services. “All the ways people love enjoying music come together in one app — a revolutionary streaming service, live worldwide radio and an exciting way for fans to connect with artists.”
You’ll also be able to task Siri to lend you a hand with song selection by saying, “Play me the best songs from 1996” or even “What was the number one song in January 1980?” and have the result played back for you.
What was previously called iTunes Radio has been transformed into “The first ever 24/7 worldwide live radio station.” The first station is called Beats 1 and will be broadcast live to over 100 countries. It is anchored by DJs Zane Lowe in Los Angeles, Ebro Darden in New York and Julie Adenuga in London, which Apple says brings a human touch to streaming services that have for the most part been a computer logic-driven affair. As Apple’s Jimmy Iovine says, “algorithms alone can’t do [an] emotional task.”
You actually won’t need a subscription to listen to Beats 1, which is the only “free” aspect of the service outside of the three-month free trial.
Apple is also touting more social aspects of its service with Connect, which allows any budding artist to upload post tracks, photos and other materials for fans to gawk over. Even unsigned artists can get in on the action to get their “sound” into the ears of Apple’s legions of iOS users.
Apple Music is also coming to Android and PC platforms
Apple Music interestingly will not just be an Apple-only affair. Besides launching for the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV on June 30, it will also be available on the same date for the PC. And even more surprisingly, an Android app will be made available sometime this fall. My how the times have changed…
All in and all, Apple Music doesn’t really advance the ball when it comes to streaming services. It takes a lot of the already excellent functionality that’s already included in a lot of today’s excellent streaming services and adds it to one app, but it’s not truly groundbreaking in this writer’s opinion. Will Apple Music be successful in an already crowded streaming marketplace that’s filled with both paid and free solutions? That’s hard to say, but it does have a seemingly competent solution, and we’re eager to put that three-month trial to the test.