Building up to this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference to be held from June 8-12, Apple has hinted at the launch of a new music streaming service that will cost users $10 (Rs. 600 approx.) a month. Prior to confirming acquisition of Beats for a reported $3 billion, Apple had previously signed deals with Warner Music, Universal and Sony Music - the three of the biggest music labels in the world. Even though the music licensing deals are still being arranged, Apple has previously procured licensing deals at short notice, and if it can pull it off again this time, a June launch is on the cards.
Like Spotify, Apple’s streaming service will provide both ad-based free streaming and subscription based unlimited streaming services. However, it has been reported that the quantity of music up for free streaming will be limited. Initially, rumours suggested that the subscription would be priced at $7.99 (Rs. 490 approx.) a month, but Apple seems to have dropped its strategy of providing cheaper-priced services to challenge its direct rivals. Recent reports indicate the service will launch at $9.99 a month - the same as Spotify.
As of now, Spotify has an 86% share in the music-on-demand market in the U.S., and a similar share worldwide. In the music downloads market, Apple’s iTunes rules the charts with an 85% share. The free music available in Apple’s service will be in the form of a live radio stream curated by music artists. As of now, Drake, Dr. Dre and Q-Tip are rumoured to be a part of Apple’s curation team. Only premium subscribers will be able to access any music they want at any time.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
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