One of the hot topics at next week’s Worldwide Developers Conference will be Apple’s relaunch of its Beats Music streaming service. The service, which is set to rival music streaming giant Spotify, will supplement its paid subscription model with a free, ad-supported internet radio service (a revamped iTunes Radio) with channels hosted by celebrity DJs.
Apple, the world’s largest purveyor of digital music, is looking to take over the on-demand streaming market. Apple spent $3 billion last year to acquire Beats Music (and the popular Beats headphones,) and they’ve been working behind the scenes ever since to improve it into a product fit to take over the streaming format. The new service will likely ditch the free listening tier that remains popular with Spotify, and opt to offer unlimited on-demand streaming for $10/month, the same price as the previous Beats Music service and their rival Spotify. The service will likely be heavily integrated into the next update to iOS, and rumor has it that the service will generate Apple’s first ever Android app.
In order to attract casual listeners who prefer not to pay for streaming music, Apple will reportedly augment its free, ad-supported radio service (currently known as iTunes Radio) with a variety of channels hosted by celebrity DJs. In February, it was announced that one of Britain’s most popular radio DJs, Zane Lowe of BBC’s Radio 1, was leaving BBC to work for Apple. Prominent musicians such as Drake, Pharrell Williams, and David Guetta are also reportedly on tap to guest DJ for the new service.
The Wall Street Journal reported today that although the new streaming service is confirmed, negotiations with the three biggest global music companies could delay its debut. Apple is reportedly attempting to wrap up licensing negotiations with Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group before the WWDC. However, according to WSJ‘s sources, the delay is “possible but unlikely.” If all goes well, we should see the launch of an exciting new platform on June 8.