Apple has unveiled their proprietary streaming service, Apple Music. But, can the Beats-affiliated streaming service slay the music goliath, Spotify?
Today, Apple unveiled the music streaming service everyone was expecting, Apple Music. Apple aims to converge the many ways we enjoy music in an 'all-in-one' application. We’ll have to wait until the 30th of June to find out whether or not Apple Music has what it takes to rival streaming services like Spotify and Pandora, but for now, here’s everything we know about Apple Music.
About Apple Music
Apple, the company that lead the way in the digital music revolution with iPod and iTunes has since fallen to the wayside with competitors like Spotify offering unbridled access to a world of music at the small expense of a monthly fee.
With their new service, Apple Music, the tech giant are looking to take back the reins by creating a music hub that houses your existing catalogue of music, a streaming service and playlists tailored by some of the world’s most popular DJs.
What are Apple Music's features?
We’d like to say that everything Apple touches turns to gold, and that their announced streaming service will launch without a hitch, however, the recent Apple Watch launch proved that consumers are no longer hypnotised by that shiny Apple logo. Below are the features Apple is boasting in the hopes you’ll jump ship from your current provider.
How was Apple Music created?
It seems Apple is taking a note out of Reed Hastings’ (founder of Netflix) book and emulating the 'recommendations' feature that made the TV streaming service so popular. Apple have touted a number of ways your listening experience will be “curated”. Firstly, a number of “talented music experts” who are tasked with creating the “perfect playlist” for you. These tailored preferences will be presented in the app in a 'For You' section (sound familiar?). Secondly, your artificially intelligent pal, Siri, will also aid your listening experience by tracking down some very specific requests. Some example requests Apple included were "Play me the best songs of 1994” or "What was the number one song in February 2011?".
Since Apple’s pricey acquisition of Dre’s line of audio wear, they’ve been dying to drop the name in wherever they can. Beats 1 is essentially a beefed up version of their iTunes Radio service– a radio station that broadcasts live, 24 hours a day to over 100 countries.
Headed by three top DJs, Zane Lowe (Los Angeles), Ebro Darden (New York) and Julie Adenuga (London), Beats 1 will offer a more traditional radio broadcast experience with exclusive interviews, guest hosts and news coverage in the world of music. Looks like Apple learnt their lesson with that whole U2 debacle and have decided to employ some more contemporary artists this time around.
Apple Music Connect
Voted the feature most likely to fade out of existence within a week of launch (well, voted by me) is Apple Music connect. There’s not really a whole lot to say about Apple Music Connect, it’s a social network devoted to music. Connect allows artists to share backstage photos, new lyrics, videos and even newly released songs with people following them directly through connect.
Sure it will be picked up by the first few artists who are paid to promote it, but it’s unlikely many artists will go out of their way for a service which is essentially Twitter with a boosted probability of stalkerish behaviour. Also, remember MySpace, remember when it tried to market itself as a music-focused social network? Good times.
What's Apple Music's pricing like?
Apple Music will launch at two price points:
- Basic plan - Beginning with a free three-month trial, users should expect to pay $11.99 AUD for Apple Music (disregarding any inflation that may occur)
- Family Plan - Provides the same service for up to six family members for approximately $17.50 AUD (no official Australian pricing on this one yet)
Is Apple Music compatible with my device?
Surprisingly, Apple are acknowledging that other operating systems exist outside of their domain and will, eventually, add Android support for Apple Music. Below are all the compatible devices currently planned for Apple Music:
- Apple Watch
- Apple TV
- Android (arriving early next year)
Apple’s new streaming service already has the benefit of established relationships with global music companies, the most iconic brand of the digital music revolution and millions of users’ credit cards already stored. And, seeing as the new Apple Music will integrate your existing catalogue of purchases and ripped CDs, the Apple Music streaming service is bound to garner some attention when it launches.
However, without a free, ad-supported option it’s going to take more than on-stage theatrics to wow existing Spotify or Pandora users. Stay tuned at finder.com.au for more music streaming comparisons leading up to the Apple Music launch.
Visit the Apple Store from Apple
Shop and browse through the latest products from Apple. See Mac notebooks, desktops, Apple Watches, iPhones and iPads.View details
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: If I sign up to Apple Music, what will happen to all the music I already own on iTunes?
A: iTunes and Apple Music are becoming one. When Apple Music launches, all of your current music and past purchases will be found in the Apple Music app.
Q: I've just bought an Apple Watch, how will Apple Music work for me?
A: As an added feature for paying members for Apple Music, you are able to sync a number of tracks with your Apple Watch. These tracks can then be played through the Apple Watch even when your iPhone is not in range– perfect for a morning run.
Q: How can I share Apple Music with my family?
A: Firstly, you will need to upgrade your account to the Family Plan. After that, it's as simple as setting up Family Sharing in iCloud settings.