Apple Expands Music Streaming Service Into China for First Time

30 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple Expands Music Streaming Service Into China for First Time.

Apple Inc. began offering its three-month-old music streaming service as well as movies and electronic books in China on Wednesday, promising a library of content geared toward its most important market outside of the U.S..Folks in China don’t have access to the record-breaking iPhone 6s until October, but Apple’s making sure they they’ll be able to get their hands on iBooks, Apple Music and iTunes Movies ahead of that. Apple Music, the iPhone maker’s answer to streaming services Spotify and Pandora, will kick off with a three-month trial before charging 10 yuan ($1.57) a month, the Cupertino, California-based company said in a statement. Users there can now also rent Chinese- and English-language movies from 5 yuan apiece, and books including Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” series and local titles such as Zheng Chunhua’s “Big Head Son & Little Head Dad.” Customers in China with a foreign Apple ID, such as from the U.S., have been able to download music from the company’s online store.

Apple Music’s competitors in China already include services from Tencent, Baidu, and Netease, but all face the challenge of convincing listeners who have spent years downloading pirated music that on-demand streaming is a more attractive alternative. Apple sold a record 13 million iPhones during the debut weekend of its latest handsets, boosted by launch-day availability in China, which now accounts for more than a quarter of its revenue. Executives have expressed confidence in the market even as the world’s second-largest economy faces its slowest pace of growth in a quarter-century. Apple said Wednesday it remains focused also on tailoring its online services for the world’s largest population of smartphone users. “One of the top requests has been more great content and we’re thrilled to bring music, movies and books to China, curated by a local team of experts,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services.

For example, Tencent Literature and Shanda recently announced a merger that makes it the country’s largest online publishing and ebook company, with more than three million books.

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