Apple launched its much-anticipated music streaming service, Apple Music, on the first day of its week-long WWDC. The service will be initially available on iOS, OS X and Windows and will cost $9.99 per month after a three-month free trial.
No Android app yet
Apple Music is also offering a family plan for up to six family members, which is expected to cost $14.99 for one month. An app for the Android OS version is expected to be released in the fall.
Apple Music features human-curated playlists categorized by genre and other activities and also utilizes information regarding any past iTunes purchases to recommend better playlist options. Along with this, the service also includes a 24/7 radio station, Beats1 and a Connect feature that enables artists to directly reach their fans.
Artists can use this feature to share their latest work, such as songs, lyrics, backstage photos, etc., and can also post their material on Facebook and Twitter through this option. Beats Music co-founder Jimmy Iovine, who also worked on the Music app, claimed that the streaming service is intended to provide “all the ways you love music, all in one place.”
Will Apple Music beat the competition?
Though Apple accounts for 80% of all music downloads globally, the company is struggling with the recent decline in the amount of downloaded music. Lately consumers have become more inclined toward streaming music rather than buying it. According to Nielsen SoundScan, streaming services witnessed an increase of 54% in sales in 2014. Thus, it seems quite predictable that Apple has come up with its own music streaming service.
However, the amount of music sales market share that Apple Music will end up gathering still remains unclear. Priced at $9.99 per month, it is not any cheaper than other music subscription services. Also the iPhone maker is quite late in entering the streaming music industry, as services like Spotify have been there for years and are well-established.
Further, it is true that Apple Music comes with some distinctive features, such as Connect and Beat1, but services from Google and Spotify have a few unique options as well. Moreover, the Apple service is not yet available on Android, which could be a set-back for the company. But the iPhone maker has its own brand name, and its iTunes service has been fairly successful. Nonetheless, how fruitful Apple Music, which is expected to replace iTunes, will be, only time will tell.