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Apple takes on Spotify, Pandora with new music streaming service

Company wants to move people from the habit of buy-and-download to subscribe-and-stream | Kiwi Zane Lowe plays key role.

Tue, 09 Jun 2015

Apple has used its annual developer conference in San Francisco to preview Apple Music – a new, subscription-based app for iPhone, iPad and (yes) Android that will launch June 30 and provide "all of your music in one place."

In a statement to NBR, Apple said there would be a three-month free trial from June 30 and that "Local pricing will be available closer to launch."

American pricing will be $US9.99 a month, or $US14.99 for a family plan of up to six individuals.

Apple wants to move people from the habit of buy-and-download to subscribe-and-stream. 

That's not a new idea. Spotify and Pandora are the most established players providing so-called internet radio services that are no-cost, or low-cost with better-quality audio and the ability to skip ads.

US media is saying Apple aimed to offer its new service at half the price of established players Spotify and Pandora. But it failed to reach deals with major music labels that would accommodate such a move, meaning Apple Music will be only slightly cheaper.

Apple Music will combine full-album streaming (already offered by Spotify, Rdio and newcomer Tidal) with a 24-hour radio station, called Beats1.

Beats1 will be hosted by real DJs in New York, Los Angeles and London, such as Kiwi expatriate Zane Lowe (the son of veteran broadcaster Derek Lowe), who Apple poached from the BBC.

The Apple music app will feature a section called Connect, where artists can share demos, live recordings, videos and other content with fans on their own profile pages that users can follow.

Again, that's not unique. Many artists make bonus material available through the likes of YouTube, SoundCloud and existing music streaming services. However, Apple is touting the convenience of having every feature offered by rivals all in one app.

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Apple takes on Spotify, Pandora with new music streaming service
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