June 8, 2015


11 Things to Know About Apple's New Streaming Service

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

At Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference today, the giant technology company announced plans of a new music streaming service, called Apple Music, that is expected to be major competition to Spotify, Rdio, Tidal, SoundCloud and even YouTube.

Check out all the key takeaways about the service—including how Drake and the Weeknd got involved—below.

The dream of being a new artist like myself and connecting with a real audience has never been better than now.


1. It will be the biggest streaming service in the world.
When Apple Music launches, it'll be available in 119 countries. The move will automatically make it the biggest streaming service on the planet, overtaking Spotify, Rdio, Tidal and others. 

2. It isn't free.
Apple Music will cost $9.99 a month with its first three months being offered for free. There will also be a family plan of $14.99/month which means that up to six users can use it concurrently—something Spotify does not offer.

3. Beats Music is going bye-bye. 
Current Beats Music users will be migrated over to the new Apple-branded streaming service. No date on that yet.

4. There's three main parts of Apple Music:
The music service will feature three modes: My Music, For You and New. All three are being "All human-curated and available by genre or activity." My Music will be the music that you've personally bought for your library. For You is music recommendations based on what you already like while New will on recent releases and fresh playlists. 

5. They're also launching a global Internet radio station.
Watch out, Pandora. Apple's also announced a new foray into Internet radio, taking the word "radio" very seriously. "Internet radio isn't really radio," Apple SVP Eddy Cue said, "we wanted to do something really big, a worldwide radio station. That's why we hired Zane Lowe."

The former BBC Radio One DJ will oversee a global, 24/7 radio station that will stream free to all users on iTunes. Though available globally, the station says it will focus mainly on Western music and new artists.

6. There's a SoundCloud-like platform for artists called Connect.
Connect is a new feature that allows artists to upload songs or videos as free, promotional content. This could be anything from a demo to a whole album like Chance the Rapper did with Surf. More details about this are forthcoming. 

7. Drake and the Weeknd gave their cosigns.
Drizzy (who was said to be one initial equity partners of Tidal) took the WWDC 2015 stage to show his support for Apple Music. "The dream of being a new artist like myself and connecting with a real audience has never been better than now," the rapper told Worldwide Developers Conference audience of the Connect feature.

Meanwhile, the Weeknd performed his previously unheard song, the groovin' "Can't Feel My Face," which was a nice play to Apple who might have looked out-of-touch music wise when they put an U2 album on everyone's iTunes account. Listen to The Weeknd's latest below:

8. Siri's pretty involved too.
You can ask Siri to play a specific genre's Top 10, the greatest hits from November 1989, or anything else you want with your iPhone's super assistant.

9. No ads for playing music videos.
Apple Music looks like they're coming for YouTube too, boasting that service will includes tens of thousands of music videos with no ads.

10. They may have been shading Tidal in its introduction video.
Billboard reports that in a video played just after an introduction from record exec Jimmy Iovine, Trent Reznor's voice narrated a short film that declared Apple Music "not just for the top-tier artists, but the kids in their bedrooms too." Is that a jab towards Jay Z & Co.?

11. It's coming quite soon.
Apple Music will be available June 30 with iOS 8.4 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It'll also be an update to iTunes if you have a Mac computer. Apple Music comes to Windows and Android later this fall.