Tim Cook introduces Apple Music at WWDC 2015. (Deanne Fitzmaurice/Yahoo)
In the early 2000s, Apple’s iTunes revolutionized the sale of music by bringing record shopping to the Internet. But in recent years, streaming services like Pandora and Spotify have stolen iTunes’ thunder.
Now, Apple is fighting back with a streaming service of its own. It’s called Apple Music., and it was announced at Monday’s Worldwide Developers Conference. Launching June 30, Apple Music will let you stream music from your own iTunes library, as well as Apple’s massive library of tens of millions of songs.
There’s more to Apple Music than just streaming tunes, though. The service will also include a service called Beats One, an online global radio station with DJs from around the world playing their favorite tracks 24/7.
Apple didn’t go into much detail in describing how Beats One will work, but based on a video the company showed during the service’s unveiling, it seems that one DJ at a time will be streaming music. So everyone around the world will essentially be listening to the same song. (Just like, um, a radio station.)
Playlists in Apple Music are also expected to offer more of the kind of music you like, as actual music experts rather than software algorithms will curate them. Apple says this means you’ll spend less time skipping songs in your playlist and more time listening.
To help find new tunes, Apple Music will provide you with lists of top albums, songs, and music videos, as well as recent releases, featured artists, and more.
Want to learn more about your favorite artists or find an up-and-coming musician? Apple Music’s Connect feature will do just that. Essentially a social media service for artists, Connect lets musicians post updates about their work, including videos, photos, and notes to fans.
Naturally, Apple Music works with Siri, so you’ll be able to do things like tell the digital assistant to play specific songs or the top 10 songs in a certain genre. You can also ask Siri to play things like the top song from a specific year or the lead song from a movie soundtrack.
In a rare twist, and to insure that it reaches the maximum number of customers, Apple is going to make Apple Music available for both iOS and Android users. That’s right, you’ll be able to use an Apple service on your Android phone.
Apple Music seems interesting, but it’s a bit hard to tell what makes it truly unique. Instead of offering something completely different, it feels like Apple Music takes a variety of features from different streaming music services and throws them together.
Subscriptions for Apple Music will start at $10 per month. The first 3 months are free. Apple is also offering a subscription for six accounts for $15 per month. Why not just share your one account with several people?
Because, like other services, Apple Music lets only one person at a time listen to tunes. What’s more, favorite songs and playlists become a mix of what each person likes.
With multiple subscriptions, you’ll be able to listen to music at the same time, and have your own playlists and favorite songs.
It will be interesting to see how many people sign up for Apple Music. The market is saturated with streaming services as it is, and newer entries into the space are struggling. I’m talking about you, Tidal.
Still, Apple is Apple, and if any company can take over the streaming music game, it’s the one.