Today at Apple’s Worldwide Development Conference, or WWDC, they showed their new subscription service, Apple Music, for the first time. The service, similar to Spotify, will stream Apple’s extensive music library (with over 30 million songs) to users for $9.99 a month. Apple will also offer family plans that will cost $14.99. for up to six users at a time. They have confirmed that they won’t offer a free version with mandatory ads the same way Spotify does, but they will offer new users 3 months for free with the service kicks off this month.
A spiritual and much improved successor to the Beats Music service that started in Jan. 2014, Apple hopes that the service will be a great curator for listeners as it will pull recommendations from what users stream and MP3’s they have from CD’s as well.
“It will change the way you experience music forever,” Apple’s Chief Executive Tim Cook said.
Apple music will also have a new radio service. Unlike iTunes Radio, service they offer today, Apple Music’s radio will be broadcast live from Los Angeles, New York and London to over 100 countries around the world with original content, interviews and guest hosts.
In a bold first time move, Apple has said they will offer Apple Music on Android devices. It will be the first time Apple is offering first party apps on a mobile device other than iPhones and iPads. The Android version of the app will come to the Google Play store sometime this Fall.
Apple’s plan to just into the music streaming pool is a bit surprising considering the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs’s opinion on the concept. In April 2003 at the “Apple Special Event” where iTunes would first be announced, Jobs went on record calling subscription based models “criminal.”
“People bought their music for as long as we can remember,” Jobs argued. At the time, services like Rhapsody offered subscription based music listening. At the time, iTunes was going to be the first to offer customers music a la carte.
“We bought our music on LP’s, we bought our music on cassettes, we bought our music on CDs,” he continued. “And we think people want to buy their music on the internet by buying downloads just like they bought LP’s, just like they bought cassettes, just like they bought CD’s. They’re used to buying their music, and they’re used to getting a broad set of rights with it. The subscription model of buying music is bankrupt. I think you could make available the Second Coming in a subscription model and it might not be successful.”
It seems as though the music market has changed quite a bit since then.