And just like that, it finally arrived: the 2015 WWDC. Centered in San Francisco, everyone waited with eager ears and eyes to see what Apple was going to unveil in its keynote. And the company certainly didn’t disappoint! A few of the notable mentions were Mac’s new OS X named El Capitan, an iOS 9 announcement, and then an Apple Watch OS update as well (despite the fact that the watch is only a few months old). But the big release we’re most excited about is Apple Music.
Set for release on June 30th, the Apple Music streaming service is Apple’s way of finally integrating their purchase of Beats. That, and the fact that Apple needed some way in which to compete with streaming services such as Spotify, Rdio, Pandora, and others. The new intuitive app will be available across Apple devices, and will offer users hand-crafted playlists and access to their purchased music. Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, Eddie Cue, could not have described Apple Music more succinctly: “All the ways people love enjoying music come together in one app.”
One of the cooler features is the Apple Music global radio station labeled Beats 1. Hosted by DJs in LA, New York, and London, the radio station plays twenty-four hours and in over 100 countries. It is dedicated to bringing great music by great DJs to all corners of the globe, and was founded on the idea that everyone, everywhere, can listen in and share in the experience of music. As Jimmy Iovine, one of the founders of Beats Electronics, noted “Technology and art can work together. At least at Apple.”
There’s also a social aspect involved in Apple Music as well. Dubbed ‘Connect’, it functions as a space where artists, musicians, and music enthusiasts can share and interact. It is similar to Apple’s Ping, the software-based, music oriented social network that then-CEO Steve Jobs described as “sort of like Facebook and Twitter meet iTunes.” However, ‘Connect’ offers musicians the chance to post tracks, connect with fans, update tour dates, and more. Think of it as an upgraded, cleaner, and cooler version of MySpace Music.
The best part about Apple Music? The price. For $9.99, you get access to Apple Music, which means all of the above features plus the ability to stream any song on the iTunes Store. And that’s after the free three-month trial. There’s also a “family option” that costs $14.99 and can include up to six people.