If you're just looking for the fast facts about Apple Music: - Apple is launching a streaming music service à la Spotify utilizing its vast music library - The service includes a new international Beats Radio and Connect, an online community for music artists and fans - Apple Music launches June 30 for $9.99 a month or $14.99 a month for a family plan with up to six accounts - Along with iOS, the Android OS will be supported
Not to be outshone by Spotify in the music streaming game, Apple announced the details of its new music service today. Just like Spotify's gala last month, Apple's event was a star-studded celebration of the new service, with appearances by Jimmy Iovine, Trent Reznor, and Drake. They're calling Apple Music the next chapter in music, and we're interested to see exactly what the story holds.
Apple CEO Tim Cook set the bar high at the beginning of the presentation when he declared, "Apple Music will change the way you experience music forever." They didn't let up from there, as music industry icon Jimmy Iovine took the stage and outlined the service, which he called "a musical ecosystem. One complete thought around music."
Apple Music will be comprised of three main tiers: the Music aspect of it, or the new streaming service along with the iTunes store that we all know and love; Beats Radio, a new worldwide, 24-hour radio station based in LA, NYC, and London playing music specially selected by elite DJs; and Connect, a specialized service designed to bring artists closer to the public. With Connect, artists—both signed and unsigned—will be given a platform to release music, videos, and more to the general public. Unlike Spotify, it looks like Apple is making a major play here for new artist discovery and development.
They went on to demo the service, and if it works as well in real life as it did on stage, it'll be pretty damn cool. One major feature that will put Apple Music at the head of the streaming pack—along with it being built into every iPhone—is full Siri integration. Nothing like asking your already familiar digital assistant to play your favorite song.
Apple Music, along with new versions of iTunes, will launch in 100 countries on June 30. While the updates will be free, Apple is truly stepping up to the plate against Spotify and charging for the streaming service at $9.99 a month. One cool feature: family plans of up to six individual accounts under one bill will be $14.99 a month, so if you have a big family or a good group of friends, jump on that. And yes, the rumors are true: the first three months using the service are free.
Oh, and Android users? You're invited to the party too. In a rare move, Apple Music will be available on the Android operating system as well, branching out from just the iFamily of products.
We're excited to use the service and see how this plays out. Yet again, Apple has given us a reason to stay fully and inextricably connected to our iPhones. We're pretty okay with that.
Brett Williams is an editorial assistant at Supercompressor and he's ready for the Streaming Wars.