Last night, Apple unveiled Apple Music at WWDC in San Francisco. The app promises to give fans “all the best ways to enjoy music, all in one place”.
How? It’s an all-in-one streaming service, download store, direct-to-fan artist social channel and music discovery platform… bundled with a 24-hour global radio station, Beats 1.
“Apple Music is really going to move the needle for fans and artists,” said Jimmy Iovine.
“Online music has become a complicated mess of apps, services and websites.
“Apple Music brings the best features together for an experience every music lover will appreciate.”
Check out the above video for the key details, but here’s some of the finer points of what you need to know:
- Apple Music will launch on June 30 in over 100 countries;
- It will be available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and PC on this date.
- Big deal: later in the year, it will come to Apple TV and Android phones – although Android users won’t be able to listen to free Beats 1 radio;
- Yes, that means what you think it means: iOS users will be able to listen to free Beats 1. So despite all that bluster, Apple has dipped its toe into the wonders of freemium;
- Beats 1 is a 24-hour ‘listening experience’ led by three core DJs: Zane Lowe in Los Angeles, Ebro Darden in New York and Julie Adenuga in London. Listeners around the globe will hear the same ‘broadcast’ at the same time. Apple promises exclusive artist interviews – it showed Lowe in the studio with Florence Welch at WWDC – plus guest hosts and the ‘best of what’s going on in the world of music’;
- Presumably, it’s fully-licensed. Apple Music will come with 30 million tracks available on day one;
- Apple has secured a three-month free trial period for consumers, which ends September 30;
- Users will be asked to pay US $9.99 per month for an individual account or $14.99 for a family discount for up to six people. The latter is particularly interesting – if three family members take advantage, it’s the equivalent of just under $5 a month; if all six sign-up, it works out to just under $2.50 each per month;
- How much will that equate to in the UK and elsewhere? We don’t know yet – Apple says ‘local pricing will be available closer to launch’. MBW contacted Apple overnight and that’s all it’s confirming… for now;
- Apple is playing the human card: it says its playlists will be put together by ‘the most talented music experts from around the world, dedicated to creating the perfect playlists based on your preferences’;
- A ‘For You’ section of Apple Music provides a mix of albums, new releases and playlists that have been personalised for each listener;
- In addition to Beats 1 and the main Apple Music player, the third core strand of the service is Apple Connect. Through this, artists can share lyrics, backstage photos, videos or even release their latest song directly to fans directly from their iPhone. Fans can comment on or like anything an artist has posted, and share it via Messages, Facebook, Twitter and email;
- Siri has been integrated, allowing fans to ask questions such as… “Play me the best songs from 1994,” “Play the best FKA twigs song,” or “What was the number one song in February 2011?”
“We love music, and the new Apple Music service puts an incredible experience at every fan’s fingertips,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services.
“All the ways people love enjoying music come together in one app — a revolutionary streaming service, live worldwide radio and an exciting way for fans to connect with artists.”
Here’s the first official Beats 1 ad.
Apple doesn’t do bad ads.Music Business Worldwide