Apple Music

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Apple introduced the new Apple Music service at its Worldwide Developers Conference on June 8, 2015. Launched in over 100 countries on June 30 as part of iOS 8.4, Apple Music is headlined by a streaming music service priced at $9.99 per month for a single user or $14.99 per month for a family plan of up to six users. The streaming plan integrates access to over 30 million tracks from the iTunes Store with your own music from other sources. Tracks and playlists are available for offline access as well.

Alongside the subscription service is Beats 1, a 24/7 global streaming music channel led by former BBC DJ Zane Lowe. A revamped version of Apple's free iTunes Radio service with a multitude of curated genre-based stations is also included. A third component of Apple Music is Connect, a place for artists to share audio, video, photos, lyrics, and more with fans.

Access to the Beats 1 radio station and Connect is free of charge to all users with an Apple ID, but paying Apple Music subscribers will get certain benefits such as unlimited skipping of radio tracks, access to additional radio stations, the ability to play, save, and like content on Connect, and more.

'Apple Music' How Tos

How to Use Apple Music Lyrics in iOS 10

One of the newest features in iOS 10's redesigned Apple Music app is the ability to view lyrics for your favorite songs. While the ability to quickly access song lyrics to learn the lines is helpful, the new feature may get lost in the midst of Apple Music's new look. We've put together a how-to guide to show you how to view lyrics for your songs. First, you'll need to start playing a song. Once a song is playing, click on the song's banner, just above the Apple Music menu bar at the bottom, to open the song's individual card. From here, there are two methods to view lyrics. Method One: Tap the "three dots" button in the bottom right corner. This brings up a menu overlay displaying options for the song, like adding it to a playlist or creating a station. Tap the "Lyrics" button below the "Share Song" option. Songs with available lyrics will have this option displayed, while songs without lyrics available will not. The lyrics will pop up in a separate translucent window that slides over the song window. Method Two: Scroll down while in the song card. The lyrics toggle will be displayed directly beneath the song, right above the "Up Next" feature. Tap on "Show" to reveal the lyrics to your song. Currently, lyrics are not available on all songs and albums, but Apple has been rapidly expanding the number of tracks with lyrics support throughout the beta testing period and coverage has become fairly broad in time for the public

How to Move Your Playlists from Spotify to Apple Music

We've been experimenting with Apple Music for over a month now, but there are still a few important questions that pop up with the new music streaming service, the first being "How can I import my playlists from Spotify?" The short answer is that you can't without using third-party software. After much research, we've found there are two fairly reliable third-party services that work well. One is called STAMP, and the other is called Move to Apple Music. Both automatically search for and add tracks from Spotify to Apple Music so you don't have to manually go through your entire collection song-by-song. While the end result is pretty much the same, each app offers different features. Before you get started, make sure you are logged into iTunes with your Apple ID and subscribed to Apple Music. With both STAMP and Move to Apple Music, you can download the program from each company's website. Both apps must be given special permission to control your computer.

How to Download Beats 1 Playlists for Offline Listening

Now that you've been testing out Apple Music for about a month, you've probably come across some questions about what else you can do with the streaming music service. We sure have. If you are a fan of Beats 1 but don't want to use up your data listening to Zane Lowe's voice on your commute to work everyday, you can download the playlist from your favorite deejays and listen to their chosen tunes offline for as long as you wish. You can't listen to Beats 1 live in offline mode, but you can access playlists from a deejay's previous radio show similar to the way you would access cable movies and television shows on-demand. Step 1: Find a Deejay The first thing you will need to do is find the deejay playlist you wish to listen to. If you want to find out whom Elton John is listening to, or think Julie Adenuga plays the songs you want to hear, you can find their Beats 1 playlists on their Apple Connect pages by performing a quick search in iTunes while in the Radio tab. The search will usually turn up "X on Beats 1" where X is the name of the deejay. Select that result to see a list of the deejay's playlists. Tracks will be listed by date, so you can easily find the most recent radio show, or even start from the beginning.

Tips for Getting Siri to Play Tracks in Apple Music

If you are signed up for the free, three-month trial of Apple Music, you probably know by now many of the cool features the streaming music service has to offer. But, did you know that Siri can make the experience even better? We've got a few tips for getting Siri to act as your digital deejay. To get the full use of Siri's compatibility with Apple Music, make sure you are subscribed and your iCloud Music Library is on. Play a Radio Station or Beats 1 Not only can Siri play a radio station like Electronic or Oldies, but now the personal assistant can also start playing live Beats 1 programming. Just ask her to "Play Beats 1." Play an Apple Music Playlist One of the things I love about Apple Music is the playlist feature in the For You section. If I've recently "liked" a particular song, A new playlist based on that will show up. If you know the name of an Apple Music created playlist, ask for it specifically. For example, "Play Souxie & The Banshees: Deep Cuts." What Song is Playing If Apple Music is playing a song you don't recognize, you can ask for more information. Just say, "What song is this?" to discover the artist and song title. Add an Album to Your Playlist If you like the song that is playing and want to hear the whole album, ask Siri to add the album to your playlist and it will begin playing after the current track is finished.

Apple Music Tidbits: Nicknames, Playlist Management, and More

Apple's new subscription-based music service launched earlier this week, and even if you've taken advantage of Apple's free three-month trial to see if it is worth your dime and time, there are a few things you may not have discovered yet about its features. While our Getting Started guide gives an overview of how to get up and running, this article gives more details on some of the things you can do with Apple Music and how to make it work for you. If you've noticed any other features we haven't listed yet, feel free to let us know in the forums. Add a Nickname to Your Profile You could stick with your full Apple ID name, or change it to something that fits you better. Apple lets you add a nickname to your ID, which will be displayed on playlists and comments. Nicknames are unique, so the earlier you grab one, the better. On iOS: Open the Music app and tap on any of the main section icons in the bottom toolbar if you're not already on a main page. Tap the silhouette profile icon in the upper left corner of the main screen. Tap your name. Then tap the Edit button to add a nickname. In iTunes: Click on the arrow next to your name, and then click on your Apple ID. Enter a nickname in the fill-in form. Start a Station Based on a Song or Album You can start a new station based on a song or album in either your music library or Apple Music. Tap the three dots next to the song or album to call up additional options. Then, tap "Start Station" on iOS or "New station from artist or song" on OS X to begin listening to tracks.

How to Disable Automatic Subscription Following Apple Music Trial

Apple Music made its worldwide debut in over 100 countries on June 30, with a free three-month trial available for customers to try the streaming music service. Apple requires having a valid payment method associated with your iTunes account to enable the trial, such as a credit card, and both Individual Plan and Family Plan subscriptions are set to automatically renew after the trial. For those that only want to try the Apple Music trial, learn how to turn off automatic renewal below. How to Disable Automatic Renewal Tap on the Account icon in the top-left corner of any tab in Apple Music. Tap on "View Apple ID" and sign into your iTunes Store account. Tap on "Manage" under the "Subscriptions" menu. Tap on your Apple Music Membership, which should currently be "Active." Toggle off "Automatic Renewal" under the "Renewal Options" menu. Confirm the action. Turning off automatic renewal will enable you to try out Apple Music on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch without the streaming music service renewing after the free three-month trial period expires. To reenable a recurring Apple Music subscription, simply follow the steps above and toggle on automatic renewal again. Your settings will also be applied to the iTunes version of Apple Music on Mac and

'Apple Music' Guides

Getting Started With Apple Music and Beats 1 on iOS, Mac and PC

Today marks the official worldwide launch of Apple Music, a subscription-based streaming music service and Spotify rival for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, PC and, later this year, Apple TV and Android. Apple Music, arguably the company's biggest music initiative since opening the iTunes Store in 2003, requires updating to iOS 8.4 on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch or downloading iTunes 12.2 for Mac and PC. Apple Music Apple Music is an all-in-one streaming music service, live global radio station and social platform for artists to connect with fans. The service costs $9.99 per month, the same price as virtually all streaming music competitors, although Apple is offering a free three-month trial period to encourage customers to try it out. Apple Music is available in over 100 countries, including the United States. Apple Music provides unlimited streaming of almost the entire iTunes Store catalog of music without needing to purchase songs or albums individually. Instead of paying $1.29 per song download, for example, subscribers have millions of songs at their fingertips for essentially the cost of an album. A family plan through iTunes Sharing for up to six members is also available for $14.99 per month. Built into the stock Music app on iOS 8.4 and iTunes on Mac and PC, Apple Music provides side-by-side access to both your downloaded iTunes songs and albums and streaming music library, which should prove to be a more convenient option than third-party apps such as Spotify, Google Play Music and Rdio for most Apple users. Apple succinctly describes it as "the

'Apple Music' Articles

Apple Music Beats Spotify, Pandora, and Others in J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Study

Apple Music has been ranked the highest in overall customer satisfaction among seven streaming music brands that were compared in a new study by J.D. Power. Based on 4,482 individuals who have paid for a subscription music service in the last six months, J.D. Power's inaugural music study measured six key areas in each service: performance and reliability, ease of use, cost of service, content, communication, and customer service. Based on a 1,000 point scale, Apple Music ranked highest with a score of 834, followed by Rhapsody (826), Pandora (825), and Spotify (824), while the industry average was ranked as 822. Apple Music earned five out of five total "power circle" marks in three categories, meaning it's "among the best" in content, performance and reliability, and ease of use. The service earned four out of five power circles in cost of service, communication, and customer service, earning it a "better than most" descriptor in these areas. “The streaming music customer experience appears to be affected by a number of dimensions, including paid vs. free streaming, device choice and content selection,” said Kirk Parsons, senior director and technology, media & telecom practice leader at J.D. Power. “The key to success, however, is increasingly becoming how well streaming music brands create a viable music ecosystem that can not only support multiple types of devices, but also facilitate listeners’ social sharing and following of playlists with others.” J.D. Power discovered a few key findings in its study, including a direct correlation between paid streaming

Jimmy Iovine Talks Apple Music Exclusives Criticism, Says Service Was 'Too Ambitious'

Apple Music executives Jimmy Iovine and Bozoma Saint John spoke with BuzzFeed News in a new feature about the redesign of Apple's music streaming service, revealing the thinking behind some new features and responding to criticism over music exclusives. Shortly after launch of Frank Ocean's latest album "Blonde," Universal Music Group banned exclusive music streaming as Ocean's deal with Apple allowed him enough capital to publish his music independently. Iovine told BuzzFeed News that Apple has no plans to become a music label, but that he doesn't know how to run Apple Music any other way than helping make and distribute great music. “We put a lot into this, we’ve had some real successes, and we always hold up our end of the relationship,” Iovine said, insisting that he has no intention of encroaching on record labels’ territory. “We’re feeling our way around and seeing what works … Every time we do [an exclusive], we learn something new.” He added that Apple Music would move forward with its pursuit of exclusives from other partners, such as Sony Music Entertainment and the Warner Music Group, noting, “It’s Apple’s show. As long as Apple’s asking me to do what I’m doing, I’m gonna keep doing it.”Iovine went on to say he doesn't know whether music fragmentation, with different services offering different exclusives, would hurt or help the music industry, but he does believe that services that offer free listening tiers are harmful. "The rights holders, whoever they are, have to do something, because there's a lot of free [music] out there, and it's a problem,"

Drake's 'Views' Album Becomes First to Reach Over 1 Billion Streams on Apple Music

Canadian rapper Drake's hit album "Views" has become the first album on Apple Music to be streamed more than 1 billion times, according to an award Drake shared on Instagram this morning. Drake received the news from Apple CEO Tim Cook, iTunes chief Eddy Cue, and Larry Jackson, who heads up original content, all of whom Drake posed with for a second photo that was also uploaded to his Instagram account. Released on April 29, "Views" was an Apple Music exclusive for one week before it became available on other streaming music services like Spotify and it sold more than 1 million copies during its five-day exclusivity window. Apple and Drake have been working together since Apple Music launched in June of 2015, with Drake offering a Beats 1 radio show and Apple sponsoring his "Summer Sixteen" tour. 🍏🍎 Thank you to everyone. OVO Sound to the 🌎 @applemusic A photo posted by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on Sep 26, 2016 at 12:29am PDT Just this morning, Drake debuted a 23-minute short called "Please Forgive Me," which is designed to be a visual companion to the "Views" album. The video, which is also an Apple Music exclusive, follows Drake and his girlfriend as they attempt to make off with a wealthy man's fortune. The songs "One Dance," "Controlla," "9," Views," and more are used in the short.

Drake Debuts 23-Minute Short 'Please Forgive Me' Exclusively on Apple Music

Musician Drake today debuted a 23-minute visual companion to his most recent album "Views," exclusively on Apple Music (via Billboard). Titled "Please Forgive Me," the short film follows Drake and his girlfriend in the video (Belgian model Fanny Neguesha) as they attempt to make off with a wealthy man's fortune. From Views, the songs "One Dance," "Controlla," "9," "Views," and more are featured. The explosive visual companion to #VIEWS. @drake’s Please Forgive Me.Only on #AppleMusic:https://t.co/86DnYZFruv pic.twitter.com/ANlLgr2imC— Apple Music (@AppleMusic) September 26, 2016 Please Forgive Me will be available to watch on Apple Music "in perpetuity," and is the third video to come out of Views, following the debut of "Hotline Bling" last year and "Childs Play" earlier this month. For one week, Views itself was an Apple Music exclusive, and reportedly sold 1 million copies in its five-day exclusivity window. Recently, Apple began preparing to bolster its video content on Apple Music through the purchase of Carpool Karaoke, and the creation of original programming like Dr. Dre's Vital Signs and the reality competition series Planet of the Apps. Apple iTunes chief Eddy Cue has said Apple is "not trying to create original TV shows" to become a Netflix or Amazon Video competitor, but will "help" producers on projects that are designed to promote its existing products. On the music side of the service, Apple's collection of streaming exclusives has come under fire from labels and music industry critics. Specifically, Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grainge has

Apple Music Attracting New Streaming Subscribers to Aid in Music Industry's 'Fragile Recovery'

The music industry is facing a "fragile recovery" at the hands of popular streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify, according to new data collected by the Recording Industry Association of America (via Bloomberg). In total, the music industry in the United States is on track to grow for the second year in a row, which would mark "the first back-to-back growth since 1998-1999." RIAA's data showed that streaming revenue in the U.S. grew 57 percent in the first half of 2016, reaching $1.6 billion, and accounted for almost half of industry sales, while subscriptions totaled $1.01 billion. Altogether, the industry grew 8.1 percent to $3.4 billion in the first half of 2016, which is on track to best the $7 billion yearly average of the last six years. Apple Music and Spotify remain the biggest forces in the streaming market, and a few label executives noted that "most of the users for Apple Music are people new to paying music, not former Spotify customers." At the last recorded subscriber count, Spotify had 40 million paid subscribers worldwide, while Apple music had 17 million. Nor is this the first time new technology has come along to get people to pay online. Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs convinced record labels that iTunes would save the industry from piracy, only to vaporize album sales by selling singles instead. Yet Apple is no longer the only player in the market for digital music. Spotify operates a larger paid subscription service and has showed no signs of slowing down since Apple Music began competing in that market. Most of the users for

James Corden Pitches Apple Music in New Ad

Apple debuted a new Apple Music ad tonight during the 2016 Emmy Awards, featuring "Late Late Show" host James Corden pitching commercial ideas to Apple Music executives Jimmy Iovine, Eddy Cue and Bozoma Saint John. Iovine, Cue and Saint John task Corden with pitching commercial ideas that can easily get across some Apple Music features, like offline listening, hand-picked playlists and over 40 million songs. Instead, Corden pitches a series of ads where he dresses up like iconic music acts. After he's rejected, Corden pitches more specific commercials where he hands a thirsty boy in a desert an iPhone with Apple Music and where he dives in a body of water filled with 40 million apples. After a few more desperate pitches, the commercial cuts to black with white lettering mentioning that Apple Music has offline listening, hand-picked playlists and over 40 million songs. The commercial is the latest collaboration between Apple and Corden. The late night host helped open Apple's September 2016 special event by "driving" Tim Cook to the event while singing karaoke. Corden and Apple are also working on a Carpool Karaoke TV show exclusively for Apple Music, though Corden will only be producing the series. Earlier today, Apple also debuted three other commercials: Two iPhone 7 commercials focused on its water resistance and low-light camera and an Apple Watch Series 2 commercial

Pandora Confirms its Apple Music Competitor Launches Later This Year

Pandora has introduced Pandora Plus, a new ad-free subscription service that builds upon Pandora One with unlimited song skips and replays and a new predictive offline mode for $4.99 per month. Meanwhile, users of its existing ad-supported tier will gain the ability to skip more songs and replay songs by watching video ads. The new predictive offline mode automatically detects when you lose your data connection and switches to one of your top stations. The Verge explained the feature in more detail:Pandora says it will automatically save your thumbprint radio station as well as your three most recently listened to stations in case you lose your connection or request offline listening. The app will automatically determine which of the four stations to switch to based on your recent listening, and when your signal drops, it will alert you with an audio message acknowledging that your connection has been lost and that it will switch to an offline station.Pandora CEO Tim Westergren also confirmed it will launch an on-demand option "later this year" to compete with the likes of Apple Music and Spotify.“We’re methodically and passionately developing the world’s most personal music experience,” said Tim Westergren, founder and CEO at Pandora. “And that includes flexibility in how you listen and what you pay for it. Whether a listener wants to take advantage of our enhanced ad-supported experience, our groundbreaking subscription radio service, or our fully interactive on-demand option coming later this year, we have a solution tailored for you at a price point

Apple Quashes Rumors of Potential Tidal Acquisition

Apple has moved to quash rumors that it is interested in purchasing rival music streaming service Tidal, according to BuzzFeed. Back in June of this year, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was "in talks" to acquire Tidal, which has fiercely competed with Apple Music for exclusivity rights to top list artists. However, pushed on the subject in a forthcoming interview, head of Apple Music Jimmy Iovine told BuzzFeed that "We're really running our own race. We're not looking to acquire any streaming services." Iovine didn't deny that discussions had taken place, but said that no acquisition deal was currently in the works. Iovine's remarks are the first time anyone from Apple has commented on the alleged talks, which some believed indicated Cupertino's hardened resolve to catch Spotify as the leader in the streaming market. Yesterday, Spotify announced that it now has over 40 million paying subscribers, compared to Apple Music's 17 million as of early September, showing that Spotify is still outpacing Apple's service in terms of growth. Buying Tidal would have landed Apple Music an additional 4 million subscribers, all things remaining the same. Theoretically, acquiring the company could have also aided Apple's relationships with some big names in the music industry – Tidal is owned by various artists including Beyoncé, Rihanna, Kanye West, Alicia Keys, and Madonna. Back in June, Kanye West suggested the company wanted to partner up with Apple Music to heal the schism between the rival services, which he said was harming the industry. In March

Spotify Reaches Over 40 Million Paying Subscribers, Continues to Outpace Apple Music

Spotify has announced that it now has over 40 million paying subscribers as of this month, meaning that it has added some 10 million subscribers since March. Spotify remains the most popular streaming music service worldwide, and its new subscriber growth continues to outpace its biggest rival, Apple Music. Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek hinted about the milestone in a tweet earlier today: 40 is the new 30.Million. 😄— Daniel Ek (@eldsjal) September 14, 2016 Apple Music has been growing at a pace of about 2 million new subscribers every two months: 11 million in February, 13 million in April, 15 million in June, and 17 million in early September. Spotify's figures, meanwhile, show it grew at a pace of over 3 million new subscribers every two months between March and September. Earlier this year, Spotify vice president Jonathan Forster said Apple Music is "raising the profile of streaming," which has helped, not hurt, its business."It's great that Apple is in the game. They are definitely raising the profile of streaming. It is hard to build an industry on your own," said Forster. "Since Apple Music started we've been growing quicker and adding more users than before."Spotify may benefit from Apple, but its relationship with the iPhone maker is not perfect. The two companies were recently embroiled in a major dispute after Apple rejected a version of the Spotify app that replaced the option to purchase a subscription via in-app purchase with an external sign-up function. At the time, Spotify accused Apple of using the App Store approval process as a "weapon

Apple Music Tops 17 Million Users, With Service Growing at Steady Rate

Anyone tuning in to watch Apple's iPhone 7 event on Wednesday may have been mildly surprised and somewhat amused to witness Apple CEO Tim Cook taking part in a special episode of "Carpool Karaoke" along with Pharrell Williams. Far from being an off-the-wall, last-minute inclusion, the video introduction makes sense for Apple, which recently purchased the segment from "The Late Show With James Corden", to be distributed via Apple Music. Apple has licensed 16 episodes of the show from CBS TV Studios, which will be executive produced by Corden and Ben Winston. The purchase is said to be seen as a way to drive online activity for the streaming music service, which Apple announced had reached 17 million paying subscribers as of yesterday. That number compares with the 15 million users that Apple said the service had garnered by its 1st birthday on June 30, indicating a jump of 2 million subscribers in just two months, despite strong competition from rival services like Spotify. The increased popularity of Apple Music is in stark contrast to Apple's falling iPhone sales year-on-year, and highlights the company's increasing reliance on profiting from existing customers through services rather than exclusively relying on acquiring new ones via hardware sales to meet its revenue targets. It also indicates that while industry commenters have leveled plenty of criticism at Apple Music for perceived deficiencies in its interface design and functionality, customers are still signing up to the service at a steady rate, perhaps won over by the exclusive album releases

Apple Music for Android Surpasses 10 Million Downloads

Apple Music for Android today surpassed 10 million downloads on the Google Play store, nearly ten months after it was released on the platform. Specifically, the app's total number of installs is now between 10 million and 50 million, up from between 5 million and 10 million, as of some point in the past day. Apple Music expanded to Android in November 2015, around four months after the streaming music service debuted on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The app, which is no longer in beta as of August, has a similar design and features as its iOS 9 counterpart, including the same three-month trial and prices. Apple's streaming music service had 15 million paying subscribers as of WWDC 2016 in June. Industry leader Spotify, by comparison, had 30 million paying subscribers at around the same time period. On iOS 10, Apple has completely revamped the app with improved organization and a new design centered upon bold, large text. Apple Music for Android is available as a free download on Google Play for devices running Android 4.3 or

Apple Music 12-Month Membership Gift Cards Now Available for $99

Apple has begun selling gift cards for Apple Music annual subscriptions at the discounted price of $99. The 12-month gift cards work out at $8.25 per month, offering an 18 percent saving over the standard $9.99 monthly subscription rate for Apple's streaming service. Currently the gift cards are being offered at brick-and-mortar Apple stores and select third-party sellers like Best Buy, but eGift cards can also be purchased online at PayPal and Walmart for instant activation. Elsewhere, residents in the U.K. can use PayPal's online eGift shop to buy 12-month Apple Music gift cards for £99, which works out at £8.25 instead of £9.99, for those willing to sign up for a full year. Apple still offers eligible students 50 percent off an Apple Music subscription, while the family plan lets up to six people pay $15 per month, or $2.50 each. The new Apple Music, which has seen a significant redesign in iOS 10, will launch to the public this fall. (Via 9to5Mac

Apple Music Users on iOS 10 Beta Gain Access to Personally Curated Playlists

At WWDC this year, Apple announced a new "Discovery Mix" playlist that would recommend music and artists to each Apple Music subscriber based on their listening habits and favorite songs. Yesterday, the feature became available to users on the iOS 10 beta, now under a different name: one playlist called "My New Music Mix" and another called "My Favorites Mix" (via AppleInsider). My New Music Mix introduces users to new songs The update can be found in the For You section of Apple Music, with each playlist housing 25 songs. My New Music Mix contains all-new music from artists that the Apple Music curators have picked based on each user's listening habits, and updates with new options every Friday. My Favorites Mix is full of "the songs you love and more," meaning it's focused on music users have already listened to rather than introducing them to new content. That playlist is updated every Wednesday. Similar to other personally curated playlists in the For You tab, both My New Music Mix and My Favorites Mix can be subscribed to, placing them in the Library tab to become more easily accessible. On a smaller scale, each individual song can be added to the Library, and then downloaded to listen to offline. My Favorites Mix curates each user's favorite artists and songs into one place Apple Music's new curation feature is akin to Spotify's Discover Weekly and Release Radar playlists, which recommends music from new artists and current favorite artists, respectively. Spotify updates Discover Weekly every Monday and Release Radar every Friday. New iOS updates, like

Apple Music Gets New Radio Station Artwork

Apple has quietly updated the radio section of Apple Music and iTunes with a few new pieces of artwork for stations like "Pop Workout," "Dance," and "Classical." The new art can be seen within the radio tab of the Music app on iOS and iTunes on OS X. Apple is expected to touch upon software updates coming to its mobile and desktop operating systems at its iPhone-centric event next Wednesday, September 7. These will include iOS 10 and macOS Sierra, both expected to launch alongside the so-called iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus later this month with an all-new and revamped Apple Music app. (Thanks, Manny!)

Amazon and Pandora Each Nearly Ready to Launch Apple Music Rivals

Amazon and Pandora are closing in on licensing agreements with the world's largest record labels to launch their own streaming music services later this year, reports Financial Times. Both subscription-based services are expected to cost $9.99 per month, a price that has become the industry standard, and compete with heavyweights like Apple Music and Spotify. Amazon's offering could launch as early as September, according to the report, while Pandora is said to be making progress towards debuting its service later this year. Reuters first reported Amazon's plans to launch a standalone streaming music service in June, followed by a Recode report last week claiming the online retailer is also working on a $5-a-month subscription music service that will be exclusive to owners of the company's internet-connected Echo speaker. Amazon currently sells individual songs or albums through Amazon Music, while Amazon Prime subscribers can stream Amazon music, playlists, and radio stations for free, but the selection is limited compared to Apple Music and Spotify. Pandora's ambitions to launch its own subscription music service, likely based on its acquisition of "key assets" from Rdio in 2015, were first reported by The Wall Street Journal earlier this month. The company plans to offer two price tiers by also slightly tweaking its existing $5 per month ad-free option with select new perks like skipping songs and offline listening, the report said. Pandora currently offers customers in the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand the ability to listen to free, ad-supported

Lady Gaga's New Album May Be First Loss for Apple Music After Universal's Exclusivity Changes

Apple Music may have lost a major exclusivity deal with artist Lady Gaga and her label Interscope, with rumors suggesting the company's streaming music service was in place to exclusively launch not only the upcoming single "Perfect Illusion," but the singer's entire fifth studio album. Lady Gaga began voicing support of Apple Music before the service even launched last year. Interscope Records, which was co-founded by current Apple Music executive Jimmy Iovine in 1989, is one of the many labels owned by Universal Media Group. Apple's rumored exclusivity loss of Lady Gaga's new album appears to be the first ripple generated by UMG's CEO Lucian Grainge decreeing earlier in the week that the company would no longer support exclusive music streaming on any service. UMG's frustration with the trend appears to be a result of the launch of Frank Ocean's much-anticipated album "Blonde" last weekend. In order to fulfill his record deal with Def Jam (another UMG label), the singer released the visual album "Endless" under Def Jam Recordings. He then launched the actual, full-length album Blonde independently under his own Boys Don't Cry label, along with an Apple Music exclusivity deal of two weeks. The move is making UMG consider suing Ocean for his tactics. It's not clear what the exclusive nature of Apple Music and Lady Gaga's deal might have been, but it's interesting to see how quickly UMG's reaction to the trend has taken effect, if the rumors turn out to be true. Although still unconfirmed, Lady Gaga's new album is predicted to debut sometime this fall, while

EE to Offer Free Six-Month Apple Music Subscriptions

United Kingdom mobile carrier EE today announced that it would begin offering free six-month Apple Music subscriptions to new and upgrading customers. The carrier says that the offer is "coming soon." The offer is available for iPhone and Android customers starting a new monthly phone contract or SIM only plan. To take advantage of the offer, customers must add it to their account within 30 days. After the six months, customers will automatically be charged £9.99 a month unless they cancel the subscription prior to the conclusion of the free trial. To celebrate the offer, EE also unveiled a new ad starring actor Kevin Bacon and singer Britney Spears. Bacon dances to music on the street in celebration of getting free Apple Music until Spears appears to scold him for stealing her wardrobe and listening to her older songs. Some carriers often decide to offer customers free trials of music services like Apple Music or Spotify to attract new customers or entice current customers into switching to newer plans. Australia's Telstra was the first carrier to offer free Apple Music subscriptions last August, when it gifted free 12-month subscriptions. More recently, Telstra switched the free 12-month subscription to a free six-month subscription. Similarly, Germany's Deutsche Telekom is planning to offer its customers a free six-month subscription to Apple Music in

Telstra Joins T-Mobile in Offering Data-Free Apple Music

Australia's largest carrier Telstra has announced that all of its Go Mobile plans now include data-free Apple Music streaming as of this week, enabling customers to listen to songs and albums without tapping into their monthly data allowance. Telstra's FairPlay policy regarding unreasonable usage applies. In tandem, it continues to offer free six-month Apple Music subscriptions to new customers. Telstra also now includes a three-month subscription to popular streaming services Netflix, Stan, and Presto on select mobile plans. Additionally, all plans include a free 200GB OneDrive cloud storage subscription, free and unlimited Telstra Air hotspot data, and a NRL and AFL 2016 Footy Season Pass. Many carriers offer free subscriptions to services like Apple Music or Spotify to attract new customers. Telstra became the first carrier to gift Apple Music with a mobile plan when it offered a 12-month subscription for free last August. German carrier Deutsche Telekom is similarly planning to offer new customers six months of Apple Music service for free starting in September, according to a recent report. When the six-month Apple Music subscription ends, Telstra will automatically charge customers $11.99 per month until the plan is canceled, but data-free streaming will continue. The carrier has posted an Apple Music FAQ with more information about the offer, including how to sign

Elton John, Chance the Rapper, and Britney Spears Among Apple Music Festival's Headline Acts

Apple today announced the artist lineup for its 2016 Apple Music Festival, the free annual concert series that takes place at the London Roundhouse theater from September to 18 to September 30. Headliners at the festival's 10th anniversary this year will include Alicia Keys, Bastille, Britney Spears, Calvin Harris, Chance The Rapper, Elton John, Michael Bublé, OneRepublic, Robbie Williams and The 1975, Apple revealed. "Over the past decade, the Festival has brought the biggest and best artists from all over the world to London and into the homes of millions of music fans," said Oliver Schusser, Apple's VP of International Content. "This year's Apple Music Festival builds on that incredible legacy and we couldn't be more excited to have another amazing lineup to celebrate our 10th birthday." Prior to 2015, the event previously called the iTunes Festival lasted for a full 30 days, but was scaled down to 10 days with the revamp. Apple also now offers the music festival performances live and on-demand in the Apple Music App on iOS devices, as well as on Mac, PC, Apple TV, and Android phones. Like last year, Apple is also set to offer special Apple Music Festival playlists, artist news, and backstage interviews via its subscription streaming music service.

Apple Music's Reliance on Exclusives Coming Under Fire From Labels and Critics

In the wake of the much-anticipated launch of Frank Ocean's new album "Blonde," Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grainge has sent out an email to UMG executives, saying that the company is prohibiting the practice of exclusive music streaming moving forward (via The Lefsetz Letter). The email officially ends "all future exclusives with Universal artists," meaning popular artists like Kendrick Lamar, Taylor Swift, and The Weeknd could all be affected by the change since they each belong to labels owned by UMG. The news was shared by Bob Lefsetz, a music industry analyst and critic, who penned a letter over the weekend in response to Blonde's exclusive home on Apple Music for the first two weeks of its release. Lefsetz said that the heavy reliance of streaming services on exclusive content, and how the practice is becoming increasingly normal among consumers, will ultimately hurt the industry in the long run. Halfway through, he particularly sets his sights on Apple: Because there’s a conspiracy between Apple Music and the industry to change the game, to get everybody to pay for a subscription by putting hit content behind a paywall. Apple should be investigated by the government for antitrust. How do you compete with the world’s richest company that’s got endless cash on hand? You can’t. It’d be like expecting hillbillies to get into Harvard if slots went to the highest bidder. The rich get richer and the rest of us…we’re left out, just like in America at large, [...] the usual suspects doing it for themselves have rigged the game in their favor, and