The biggest announcement at the Worldwide Developer Conference was not iOS 9 or OS X El Capitan, but Apple Music. The new music streaming service has been long rumored for release, and Apple finally pulled the lid of its next step in the music industry.
Unveiled by Jimmy Iovine, Apple Music is a new service encapsulating more than just streaming. Apple launched Beats 1, a 24/7 radio station on Apple Music, alongside a new ‘Connect’ network for artists to connect with fans.
Apple Music will feature all of the music available on iTunes, alongside some new releases from the biggest stars and independents before anyone else. Apple made sure to stay clear of the 16 Tidal co-owners, but we expect most of their albums will be available.
Instead of using algorithms for all of the recommendations, Apple Music features recommendations based on preferences, other listeners and human curation. Apple is also launching a “24/7 Internet radio station”, named Beats 1, starring ex-Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe.
iTunes Radio seems to have been folded into Apple Music. More radio stations will appear, if Apple opens the floodgates to third-parties. Beats 1 may push ahead for a time, considering the funding it is receiving from the most expensive company in the world.
Another feature outside of music streaming is Connect, a way for artists to show behind the scenes, unfinished, early teasers and other content to fans. Instead of Twitter, where artists are broadcasting to everyone, Connect offers a rich amount of media options for artists.
Connect could go two ways, all depending on the amount of content artists upload. Ping was a previous disaster focused on blending music and social, but Connect seems to be a more refined and smart network focused on the artists.
It will also be a place for independents to release music for free, if they wish.
The radio stations and Connect will be free to use, no subscription necessary. Apple Music will cost £9.99 per month or £14.99 for families (six devices limit), but Apple is offering three months free trial for all who sign up.