Apple fans are finally seeing the result of Apple's high profile acquisition of Beats Music one year ago for a sum of $3 billion. Together with the official unveiling of iOS 9, the newest version of Apple's mobile operating system, the company also announced Apple Music, its first ever music streaming service.
Developed from the Beats Music streaming subscription, Apple Music is being offered to subscribers at $10 per month. Apple will also be offering a plan for families or groups consisting of a maximum of 6 members to share an Apple Music subscription for $15 per month.
Apple is planning to officially launch Apple Music on June 30th of this year in more than 100 countries around the world. Upon its launch, the music streaming service will be made available with a three month free trial. Certain features and functionalities, such as limited listening to radio as well as viewing musicians' content will be offered for free without any subscription.
The great news about the introduction of Apple Music is that it will not be made exclusively for iOS users only. Obviously, Apple Music will run on iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches, Mac desktop computers and laptops, and Apple TVs. But the service will also be made available on Android, the mobile operating system developed by Apple's biggest rival, Google.
Apart from containing songs bought from Apple's own iTunes Store, those ripped from purchased CDs, or selected on-demand from an online catalog consisting of over 30 million tracks, Apple Music will also come with Beats 1, a 24 hour radio station, and Connect, a social network platform that lets users connect with the musicians themselves and maybe get access to exclusive tracks from today's hottest musical artists.
When Apple acquired headphone maker Beats in August last year, the company also got Beats Music, a still fresh music streaming subscription service that grants its members easy and expansive access to tracks for $10 per month. Before the introduction of Apple Music, much speculation has been made regarding what the re-branded Beats Music will ultimately become. And while Apple was busy tinkering with Beats, other music streaming services like Pandora and Spotify has continued to gain more users. Meanwhile, new entrants to the field, such as Jay Z's Tidal, have been added to an already crowded pool of players. As for the music streaming industry in general, it has begun to surpass the sales of physical records (CDs, vinyls, cassette tapes), and is even gaining on the sales of digital downloads, which apparently, is on the decline.
Apple Music may have some catching up to do, but its timing may be just right. As mentioned earlier, music streaming services are as popular as ever, and with Apple's already strong branding, it should be able to attract subscribers in the next few months. Also, Apple has had a nice winning streak going on with the release of its two newest iPhones and its Apple Watch -- you can say that with the launch of Apple Music, that streak is looking to continue.
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