Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference will be home to more than iOS updates this year, with plans to relaunch Beats Music and revamp the iTunes Radio service.
Beats Music will feature exclusive music from Florence and the Machine, U2 and other artists, but in order to win iTunes Radio customers, Apple is making deals with popular artists like Drake, Pharrell and David Guetta, to work as guest DJs on the platform.
The New York Post claims Apple is talking to several artists on deals, which would allow them to make playlists and feature them on the homepage. It would make iTunes Radio more centered around following playlists, rather than listening to stations.
The Drake deal is said to be worth $19 million (£12.5 million) to Apple. It would pay similar amounts to artists contacted, but the final deals have not been ironed out by either party.
Oddly enough, Apple plans to offer three months free on iTunes Radio, before charging $10 per month for the service. This sounds an awful lot like the plan for Beats Music, meaning the two will be merged into one or NYP have their music streaming services muddled up in the report.
Hopefully it is the former, since iTunes Radio and Beats Music blended into one would be a cool way to offer radio and streaming together. Apple might even bundle it all into iTunes, although customers already complain iTunes is too dense.
Apple has been in talks with dozens of artists over exclusivity deals, ever since Jay Z’s Tidal decided to start scooping up deals with Kanye West, Rihanna, Coldplay’s Chris Martin and a few other big names in the music scene.
Compared to Tidal’s million dollar valuation, Apple has a trillion dollar valuation from some investors. It can definitely outbid Tidal when it comes to talent, but Jay Z seems to have won over some of his friends to his own music service.
Apple will launch both iTunes Radio and Beats Music this month at WWDC 2015, alongside iOS 9, the next Mac OS X update and hopefully a new Internet TV service.