On the morning of June 8th, Apple made the announcement that everyone had been theorizing that they would: Apple is launching a streaming service.
The cost of the streaming plan with be $9.99 per month, or $14.99 if you want something for the whole family (up to six people). It is worth noting that for the family plan, you’ll need to have an iCloud family sharing active on your account. For those not sure if this is the service for them, Apple will also offer a three month trial for those wanting to try it out.
On first glance, we can say that the family service is less expensive that the current streaming front-runner, Spotify, who offers a $14.99 streaming package that covers only two people. However, soon as news of Apple’s family plan broke, Spotify scrambled to publically state that they would match it. Apple had hoped to lower their single monthly subscriber fees to something in the $5 to $8 range, which explains the note that negotiations between Apple and record label execs continued almost up until the last minute, but of course they didn’t want to. The execs, I mean. Lower monthly subscription fees means a lower paycheck to them, and if we know nothing else about the music industry, we know they like money.
Those who pay the fee will be able to download albums and playlists for offline use. I saw an article that stated that there will be an add-supported option for free users, but only one. Apple’s company lead has been vocal of his dislike of a free option, so I doubt that this is actually true. Not to mention, no one else mentions a fee option. Actually, they mention specifically that there is not one, so there probably isn’t one. Either pay for it, or don’t use it seems to be Apple’s outlook.
Another bullet point, Apple purchased Beats last year for a large sum of money, and those who signed up for Beats’ music service will find themselves customers of Apple’s music service automatically, as of the launch.
Apple us hoping that exclusives, such as the Connect feature which allows artists to upload music tracks, albums, pictures and messages to fans who subscribe to them, or perhaps the fact that Drake will be releasing his next album on Connect will draw in those who they missed when they weren’t able to sign Jay Z, Kanye and others who were scooped up by Tidal. There is also the added feature of Siri integration and syncing with your Apple watch (should you have one).
Where & When
The Apple’s Music Service, which already has a homepage on Apple, will launch to the general public on June 30th, with Android service coming sometime in the fall, but no solid date has been given. The paid service doesn’t really seem to offer anything new other than the price that you pay for it, but only time will tell if Apple can distinguish itself from the pack, or simply rope in iPhone users who are already roped.