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Apple to Push Paid Streaming Music Service With Free Trials and SoundCloud-Like Sharing

iTunes-RadioAhead of the rumored debut of Apple's upcoming streaming music service, Re/code has shared several details on the initiative, sourced from industry insiders. As we've learned previously, Apple will charge $9.99 per month for the service and will not offer a freemium streaming tier as other music services like Spotify do, but the company is aiming to introduce ways to let people listen to some content for free.

First and foremost, Apple hopes to offer listeners a free trial period, which lasts between one and three months, letting them sample the music service for an extended period of time before opting for a full subscription. The length of the trial will depend on what Apple is able to negotiate with music companies.

Apple is also working on a feature that may let artists and music creators upload samples of songs that could be listened to without subscribing to the service. Re/code's sources are describing this as "something akin to SoundCloud." SoundCloud is a music sharing platform that lets users upload and share originally-created music, and a similar feature within Apple's new music service would give indie artists an easy way to share music while providing listeners with free content.

The third way Apple plans to potentially get music to listeners for free is through a revamp of iTunes Radio. We've heard hints of this previously, but the new version of iTunes Radio may feature stations that are curated by humans rather than computers, with different content available in different locales. New Apple hire BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe and other recently hired radio staff may spearhead this initiative.

Re/code's report also shares some details on the streaming music negotiations that have already landed Apple in a bit of hot water with various regulatory bodies, including the FTC and the Department of Justice in the United States and the European Commission. Apple has been attempting to convince music labels that ad-supported free streaming music does not generate enough revenue.
But as we have previously reported, Apple doesn't intend to provide free, unlimited on-demand streaming, as competitors Spotify and YouTube do. In private meetings with label executives and other music industry figures, Apple has been arguing that free streaming won't generate enough money for the industry via advertising, and doesn't give enough people incentive to pay for subscriptions.
Apple is still working to complete deals ahead of the launch of the streaming service, but it is said to be on track for a WWDC debut. According to a report earlier this week, the streaming service will be introduced during the Worldwide Developers Conference in June and released later in the month alongside the public launch of iOS 8.4.

Apple's streaming music service is built on its existing Beats music service, and will continue to focus on curated content. To draw in additional customers and to distinguish itself from competing services, Apple is planning to offer a range of exclusive content. There are also plans to rebrand and revamp the music service, deeply integrating it into iTunes and the newly revamped Music app introduced in iOS 8.4.

Top Rated Comments

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56 months ago
I hope they're wrong

For me they're just wrong. I pay for Spotify and I'm delighted with it. I really believe they should have bought Spotify and Bose and not the turd that is Beats. I am deeply ashamed that they are now bullying the industry into destroying Spotify. I hope they fail. This is not Apple anymore.
Rating: 21 Votes
56 months ago
I bet 50$ that this service won't be available in any european country until 2025.
Rating: 19 Votes
56 months ago
I'd rather support the underdog... Spotify.

Apple has turned into an industry big bully.
Rating: 16 Votes
56 months ago
Another streaming service that offers nothing more than what's currently being offered.

It's right in line with Apple Watch not offering anything Everybody else is offering.

Apple's lost it's edge and has become as boring as Microsoft of old.

At least Microsoft is giving users a reason to switch platforms.
That used to be Apple's job, now they're just following the puck along with all the other "me to" companies of past.
Rating: 14 Votes
56 months ago

Unless Apple plans on adding lossless streaming, I'll stick with Tidal.

Research has shown that humans can't distinguish between 320kbps MP3 (Spotify Extreme) and 16-bit CD quality. TIDAL is totally hot air... and heading for failure.

Only studio master 24-bit/96KHz stands a chance of making a difference. Even then, most people won't care about the difference.
Rating: 13 Votes
56 months ago
the old bait and switch

no thanks Apple

I'll stick with Free Spotify and Youtube
Rating: 9 Votes
56 months ago
I'm not understanding what Apple is trying to do. So they want to eliminate radio and shuffleplay so that no one gets to listen to free music on their phones?

They must be doing some strong drugs for them to think like that. Beats will be dead on arrival at this point.

But as many people have said, Spotify takes care of all of this. Free music when you want and paid subscription that works on iPhones, iPad, Mac, PS4.

There really isn't a need for another music streaming service.
Rating: 8 Votes
56 months ago

There really isn't a need for another music streaming service.

Yes, but Spotify is not owned by Apple and now Apple wants to step into Spotify's space. So Spotify must be getting increasingly bad, "stupid", "useless" to be followed by "99.9% don't want" and "not integrated as fully with iOS". Even the music will sound better with Apple's version (even if the files are duplicates). If you've been around here long, you know how this works. :rolleyes:

I really hope the record labels and artists are able to end Spotify's free tier. There have been attempts but mostly futile. They pay nearly nothing to the artists and while Spotify claims piracy rates have dropped, they have just been mitigated. The artists are still not getting enough,

Absolutely right. We consumers should want to pay for something that we currently and legally get for free. We know that Apple isn't pricing this for Apple's profit motives but because they want to pass the extra money along to those poor artists. :rolleyes:

Furthermore, I wish Apple would decide to monetize the air we breathe too. We shouldn't want to keep breathing for free. We want to pay. Besides we know that Apple air will be superior to existing air. 99.9% don't even like the existing air. ;)
Rating: 7 Votes
56 months ago
Unless Apple plans on adding lossless streaming, I'll stick with Tidal.
Rating: 6 Votes
56 months ago

So you think you're entitled to music artists produce for free? What's next, concerts should be free entry, too?

That's a very bad way of thinking. Not everyone is Jay-Z or Taylor Swift who can afford to throw tantrums.

It's companies like Apple that have destroyed the income of many artists. Most artists make very little money selling their music on iTunes, Google, Amazon, etc. Only the really big name artists get the big deals. Artists are struggling because very few people buy the full albums/cds anymore. Artists have to rely on maybe one or two songs on their albums being sold for $1.29 on itunes. The bulk of that money goes to Apple and the record labels, with the majority of artists receiving 10 cents on the dollar and probably even less via streaming. So don't try and make it look like Apple is somehow their shining knight in armor with streaming. In fact, artists will receive even less money if the bulk of consumers choose streaming over itunes purchases. That's what Apple and other paid streaming services want. More money for themselves, less for the artists. It use to be the concert tours were icing on the cake for artists, now they have to do it to earn a living.
Rating: 6 Votes

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