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Apple force music streaming app onto new iPhone and iPad users

You can hardly have forgotten that Apple picked up Beats for the princely sum of $3 billion (£1.9 billion) earlier this year, and part of that deal was not just the headphones, but Beats Music, the subscription streaming service.

If you were wondering what Apple’s plans were for the music service, well, now we know according to the Financial Times – Cupertino is going to bundle a streaming tunes app directly into iOS early in 2015.

Sources who spoke to the FT believe the move will happen around spring, possibly March – which is likely to be the same time as the launch of the Apple Watch. And it will mean the massive user base of iPhone and iPad owners out there will have access to the Beats Music service – if they’re willing to pay the subscription fee, of course.

Yes, this will remain a paid-for service the FT reckons, and it doesn’t sound like some sort of limited free version will be on the cards. It also won’t be called Beats Music any more, unsurprisingly, and is likely to be renamed under the iTunes brand (naturally).

Spotify will be concerned, of course, even though Beats currently has a very small number of subscribers in comparison to the massed ranks of Spotify listeners. More competition, particularly from Apple, won’t help Spotify’s cause, and it also recently came under fire from Taylor Swift, who refused to put her new album on the service, claiming it wasn’t an economically sound move for her. Other artists could follow her example…

Of course, those unhappy artists will shun any streaming service including Apple’s new effort, not just Spotify. The future of streaming music is looking a little more unsettled these days…