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Over the past few years, Apple has been taking an “embrace and extend” approach when it comes to its services, opening up the doors of its traditionally walled garden to bring services like Apple Music and Apple TV+ to the masses — whether those masses are Apple users or not.
While you’ll still get the best Apple Music experience on an iPhone, iPad, or HomePod, Apple didn’t hesitate to bring it to the Amazon Echo and other Alexa-enabled speakers, integrating with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant to let users call up their favourite tracks, rather than Siri.
That was followed by the debut of the Apple Music app on Samsung Smart TVs back in early 2020, about a year after several major TV brands gained AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support. Even back then, Samsung went a bit farther, with dedicated iTunes Movies and TV Shows apps for watching content purchased or rented from the iTunes Store, and it was also one of the first platforms to support Apple’s TV app after Apple TV+ launched in the fall of 2019.
Although Apple TV+ has expanded onto third-party devices much more rapidly than Apple Music, the latter has still taken a few interesting turns, going so far as to offer an integrated experience on high-end cars — even without CarPlay.
Now, Apple is extending Apple Music in another new direction: game consoles.
Sony announced today that its PS5 is now the first game console “to introduce an integrated Apple Music experience,” giving its users access to the entire catalogue of 90 million songs, plus radio stations, and even 4K music videos.
For those of you who love listening to music in addition to playing games, we are pleased to announce that Apple Music is launching on PS5 — the first gaming console to introduce an integrated Apple Music experience, bringing their expansive music catalog to PS5 players globally.Erin Metzger, Sony Director of Product Management
Not only that, but Sony and Apple are also ensuring that the Apple Music app fits right in on the PS5, with seamless integration that will even let you use Apple Music to stream your favourite tracks in the background while you’re gaming.
PS5 gamers will also be able to pop up the Apple Music Now Playing screen during gameplay by pressing the PS button on their DualSense wireless controller and pulling it up from the console’s Control Center — and Apple Music subscribers will even get recommendations to match the game that they’re currently playing, or choose from a set of gaming-themed playlists curated by the Apple Music editorial team.
How to Get Apple Music on a PS5
If you’re an Apple Music fan who is fortunate enough to own a PS5, you can get started by downloading the Apple Music app from the Media space, and then simply open it up and follow the on-screen instructions to link it up with your Apple Music account.
Although Apple Music is already available on most smart speakers, as well as Android phones, this marks the first game console or set-top box to play host to the service.
By comparison, Apple TV+ has seen a much more rapid rollout to third-party hardware. Sony’s PS5 not only included Apple TV when it launched last year, but this past summer, Sony announced it would be giving away six free months of Apple TV+ service to PS5 owners. Meanwhile, Apple TV also came to Xbox last year, and Roku in late 2019, eventually even gaining its own button on the Roku remote.
It’s unclear at this point if this latest Apple Music launch is a result of an exclusive arrangement with Sony, or if we’ll also soon see Apple’s music streaming service land on the Xbox as well.