Apple’s streaming music service is nearly with us. It won’t carry Beats branding and will be cheaper than Spotify’s premium offering – but its creation has been something of a bumpy road.
That’s according to a seemingly well-informed report from Apple-focused tech site 9To5Mac, which lays out a host of new details about the platform based on whispers from insider sources.
Here’s the most important info it’s spilled:
- The platform will almost certainly be announced in June, when Apple holds its WWDC conference in San Fransisco. Apple had originally planned to reveal the service in March, but delays have made that impossible.
- It won’t carry any of Beats’ branding, although it’s currently yet-to-be-named. The report heavily suggests that some kind of iTunes brand will be retained. According to 9to5Mac: “While Beats technologies will be under the hood, the interface design will be entirely Apple’s, ditching Beats’ black and red theme for a look consistent with iTunes and the iOS Music app. To ease the transition for current Beats Music users, Apple will let users merge Beats Music accounts with their iTunes/Apple ID profiles.”
- It will be cheaper than Spotify, Rdio and Deezer’s premium services. The original plan was to launch the service at $5.99, but the report says it’s now more likely to end up at $7.99 after negotiations with music rights-holders. Its rivals are all priced at $9.99 in the US.
- The integration of Beats technology will be ‘deep’. Says the report: “Apple has decided to deeply integrate Beats into iOS, iTunes, and the Apple TV. The company is currently developing new Beats-infused versions of the Music application for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, as well as an updated iTunes application for computers that deeply integrates Beats functionality. A new Apple TV application is also in the works.”
“In a break from the norm, an android application of the new platform is being built by apple in-house”
- It will mix together Beats’ access-based streaming and users’ own libraries. Users will be able to switch between their own tracks, based in the cloud, and tracks on Beats’ streaming platform. Apple will encourage consumers to merge their Beats Music accounts with their iTunes/Apple ID profiles.
- “Users will also be able to migrate their current Beats libraries to the new service, merging those songs with their iTunes in the Cloud content. Apple plans to retain its iTunes Match, iTunes Radio, and iTunes Store services as-is, even though the new paid streaming service will overlap some functions of earlier iTunes offerings.”
- In a break from the norm, an Android application of the new service is being built by Apple in-house. But 9T5M thinks that there won’t be a Windows Phone app due to Microsoft’s small market share.
- The lead director of the project is recently-promoted iTunes VP Robert Kondrk, backed by key Beats Music execs including CEO Ian Rogers, co-founder Jimmy Iovine, and Nine Inch Nails leader Trent Reznor.
- However, in news that will bring Spotify cheer, some sources say the development of the service has been “a mess” and that “Beats integration hasn’t been going too well”.
- Apple decided to move Beats employees into ‘critical engineering positions’, which has apparently put long-time Apple engineers’ noses out of joint. Bobby Gaza, a former Senior VP at Beats Music and Head of Engineering for the new service, departed Apple in December.
9To5Mac is a respected Apple ‘insider’ site. Its Senior Editor, Mark Gurman, was named on Forbes’ 30 under 30 list, and has broke numerous Apple exclusives in the past.Music Business Worldwide