Apple is planning to sweep the music industry once again with the relaunch of Beats Music, and one of the ways it intends to turn users into subscribers is through a long free trial period.
The length of the trial is currently under scrutiny from music labels, but Apple assumes having three months will keep most people happy.
The goal is to make the streaming service become an invaluable feature for customers, making it a natural move from free trial to paid customer, rather than Netflix, Audible or Amazon Prime where the one month free trial can seem sudden and not offer enough time to value the service.
Beats Music will not feature a freemium model, meaning customers either pay or get nothing. Apple might add mixtapes and off the record songs, allowing artists to add free content alongside the main songs and albums behind a paywall.
This would allow artists to make money from the streaming service’s pay per listen, alongside offering some free content on a SoundCloud style platform. Apple is also planning to offer free music on iTunes Radio, which will be revamped alongside Beats Music at the Worldwide Developer Conference in June.
It is already working on details with artists like Florence and the Machine and Taylor Swift, who have have removed their music from Spotify in favour of other streaming services like Tidal and Beats Music - both of which removed the freemium model.
Ad supported music is starting to become a well paid enterprise, at least on Spotify, with almost 400 per cent increase in revenue on ads throughout 2014. This was not enough to keep some artists, clearly unhappy with Spotify’s pay per listen deals.
Apple is expected to publicly attack Spotify at WWDC 2015, going against its revenue model and offering a new solution that benefits the consumer and the artist. This is similar to Tidal’s selling point, although it didn’t make much of a dent in the market.