Report: Apple’s new music service will cost $10/month, no freebies

26 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple to launch streaming service to compete with Spotify.

In a Wednesday report, the New York Times has disclosed that the redesign of the Apple streaming-music service is being led by musician Trent Reznor, the front man and soundtrack maker of Nine Inch Nails. Apple is also planning to revamp and relaunch iTunes Radio, with Zane Lowe taking a figurehead role at a project designed to resemble a conventional radio station. Apple’s redesigned music-streaming service influenced by Reznor will reportedly be mostly black with shades of gray; and will apparently feature vampire bat icons, and have a unquestionably “goth” feel.

While there weren’t many details on what exactly Reznor is working on, he was described as the “point man” for Apple’s efforts at relaunching Beats Music under its own brand. The Times reported that Apple had tried to persuade record labels to lower their licensing costs for music, which would have allowed the company to undercut other streaming services. Whether Apple’s design head Jony Ive is involved in the Beats Music relaunch is unclear, though we’d expect the new service to fall in line with the visual redesign to Apple’s software that has rolled out over the last few years under Ive’s direction.

The app is the front end of the long-expected Apple subscription music service, which the NYT report says is coming soon, citing two Apple employees familiar with the plan. The NYT also rehashed a number of details surrounding Apple’s relaunch of Beats Music that have already been revealed, including Apple’s desire to have exclusive content on iTunes and the plan to include it in the next major version of iOS. Jimmy Iovine, the legendary record industry executive who runs beats with Dr Dre, is reported to be pushing for big albums to be premiered exclusively through Apple. Recent Apple hire Zane Lowe, formerly a DJ at BBC Radio 1, is reportedly involved and may even serve as a more traditional DJ on iTunes Radio on new, geographically-targeted stations — similar to more traditional FM radio.

That would likely be in addition to the current, genre-based station offerings that accompany the custom artist- and song-based stations that users can create themselves. Lowe made himself an influential figure in UK radio by demanding and getting track premieres, and – especially with Iovine chasing album premieres – it seems likely this was part of his appeal to Apple. Before Beats Music, Apple only had iTunes Radio, which has been struggling against Pandora, the largest internet radio service for smartphones and mobiles. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) says streaming services pulled in $1.87 billion in revenues for the industry last year, and exceeded CD sales for the first time.

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