We reported earlier today that Apple has announced their latest mobile software, iOS 9, to be made available as a free update later this fall. If you are not the type to install the developer beta, no worries, there is still new software coming soon to your iPad.
Apple did not make a big deal out of it at their WWDC keynote presentation Monday morning, but they did announce that iOS 8.4 is coming by the end of the month. A new version of OS X is coming too. Along with the new operating systems will be all the support you will need to dive into Apple’s new music service as well, Apple Music, due for release on June 30.
While we will certainly keep you informed of anything new that we learn about iOS 8.4 before it gets here, we do not know much of anything so far. On the other hand, Apple was very generous with details for the new Apple Music service, which will include streaming, live radio, access to exclusive artist content and more.
By the time Drake took the stage to share his personal appreciation for Apple’s new service, most of the details were made available. First up, Apple Music offers all the music streaming you can handle, with a max quality of 256 kbps. This includes the new Beats1, which is dedicated live DJ radio intended to shake up the music industry formula for current radio.
To truly spice things up, Apple Music introduces a feature called Connect. Connect is pretty simple, offering a dedicated portal for artists to share off-record materials such as images and videos. This content will only be available to Apple Music subscribers, unless, you know, the artists publish the same content onto YouTube or their own websites or something.
I applaud the approach of Apple Music’s Connect, the idea of getting a little more close and intimate with artists is fun for many. If also you enjoy getting close to musicians, in a digital sense, you might check out PledgeMusic, it’s like a KickStarter for indie music artists, with an unexpected amount of accessibility and personal touch from the artists.
Back to business, Apple Music is coming soon, and it will offer up an impressive 3 month free trial to get you hooked. From there you are looking at $9.99 per month to stay on board. There is a family package available, allowing up to 6 users utilize the service for just $14.99.
How does Apple Music compare?
While we certainly cannot yet speak to the quality of Apple Music’s human driven playlist generation, we can look at things on paper. For the same monthly rate you can get your hands on Spotify and Google Play Music, Amazon Prime Music runs you $8.25, but that also comes with a full Prime subscription and all that that entails.
Apple Music’s default 3 month trial is the longest in the market, but that does say not anything for the frequent 3 and even 6 month trials that pop up for Google Play Music, nor the various ways to get free months of Amazon Prime. Spotify is one of the only streaming services to offer a completely free tier to their service. Not to say that there are not many ad supported internet radio and streaming services, just that the other options we have discussed here today are pay to play.
One last thing, Apple Music will even make it to Android, with an app launching in the Google Play Store soon.
In the end, we have not seen enough to fully answer if Apple Music is the new music streaming service to beat. They do posses an impressive catalog and decent enough relationship with labels, all thanks to years of selling music through iTunes. Thing is, Apple made a big deal about doing things different, shaking up the current music streaming industry, we’ll have to see if that turns into an actual thing, or if those were just flashy words to get people excited during one of their biggest presentations of the year.
We will have more coverage and musings from Apple’s WWDC presentation from Monday, stay tuned for that, and for our look at the new iOS 9 beta on the iPad.
What do you think, can Apple Music make a dent in the industry. or is it just the latest streaming service attempting to crack into the market?