itunesiconAs rumors gear up surrounding the revamped Apple iTunes/Beats music service, a new report claims that the company will opt out of offering a free advertising-supported base tier for its upcoming streaming service (via Re/code).

The company will allow customers an initial trial period of some kind, but following that users will have to pay to continue listening to music, the cost of which most recent rumors agree will be around $7.99.

With the slow decline of digital downloads and the steady rise of streaming services, sources close to Apple media head Eddy Cue and Beats Music founder Jimmy Iovine state that the two agree the music industry, and streaming specifically, “needs to get behind a paywall."

Apple executives have been telling the music industry it can help them roll back the tide of free digital music by relaunching its own subscription streaming service this year. Unlike Spotify and YouTube, Apple’s service won’t offer a free “tier” of music interspersed with ads — after an initial trial period, you’ll need to pay to play.

Now Apple is negotiating with the music labels for licenses for a revamped version of Beats. Sources say Apple would like to make a splash by getting high-profile artists to distribute their music with Apple before it makes its way to other services.

If made official by Apple, the move would be a direct contrast to a service like Spotify, which allows its 60 million worldwide users (15 million of which are paid subscribers) to listen to anything they want for free, with ads interspersed within the music.

Jonathan Prince, head of communications and public policy for Spotify, said that the company's research found that 12 percent of iTunes users have migrated to Spotify, with 40 percent of that group paying for the premium Spotify service. Prince uses this statistic to claim that, despite the service's immense popularity, they aren't single-highhandedly the culprit behind the declining digital download sales of recent years.

Despite these new reports, similar sources say that the company plans to keep the iTunes Radio service intact, claiming web-based radio won't directly impede music sales. The most recent news regarding the long-rumored Apple music service suggests an official unveiling by the company at WWDC this year, with Apple tweaking aspects of the current state of iTunes all the way up to the launch of the revamped service.

Related Forum: Mac Apps

Top Rated Comments

bushido Avatar
82 months ago
no one NO ONE but the marketing department benefits from "exclusive to xy" BS. no ones gonna pay for 3 different services just to listen to an particular artist. they tried the same crap with different kind of media years ago. it only pushes people to pirating again. just my 2 cent.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chasemac Avatar
82 months ago
Give us high quality lossless music. Fix that and I would be very interested.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
The Doctor11 Avatar
82 months ago
If it doesn't have an ad supported option that would suck... A lot.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DirtySocks85 Avatar
82 months ago
So right now I pay for iTunes Match, and one of the perks I get is ad free iTunes Radio - it's the reason I use iTunes Radio over Pandora most of the time. I'm going to be disappointed if Apple pulls this perk from Match.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JGIGS Avatar
82 months ago
I don't have an issue paying for a music subscription. My main issue with them is that the interfaces are not robust enough. If Apple brings in things like smart lists and more things to sort by (release year, genre, popularity etc.) I'll be happy to switch from google play music. The extra bonus would be to have an option to listen to hi fi lossless music. Of course I'd also need to option to download to mobile device since I'm living off a gig of data a month.

Cherry on top would be to have more content then Google Play Music and Spotify. :D

Bring it Apple!! I need to be wowed by you again. It's been awhile.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ButteryScrollin Avatar
82 months ago
wonder if iTunes Radio will be killed off when this is launched.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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