Trent Reznor will design Apple’s new music app; won’t cost less than its rivals

26 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple and Beats develop streaming music service to rival Spotify.

Looks like, Apple is preparing a big change for its digital music service. Almost a year after agreeing to pay $3 billion for Beats, the maker of hip headphones and a streaming music service, Apple is working with Beats engineers and executives to introduce its own subscription streaming service.Apple is scoring big these days when it comes to taking on the best talent from all industries and all walks of life – nabbing Trent Reznor could well be the icing on the cake. The company is also planning an enhanced iTunes Radio that may be tailored to listeners in regional markets, and, if Apple gets what it wants, more splashy new albums that will be on iTunes before they are available anywhere else, according to people briefed on the company’s plans.

The New York Times reports that Apple and Beats are working on a subscription streaming service, with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails taking a key role in redesigning the company’s music app. 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. Already part of the Beats team as Chief Creative Officer, Reznor previously told reporters from Billboard magazine that streaming music represented a crucial direction for the industry as a whole to take going forward. “Ownership is waning.

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. While Apple once enjoyed enormous negotiating power as the dominant force in digital music – an area it helped pioneer more than a decade ago with music downloads – it now faces an array of new competitors and finds itself in the position of needing to modernize its offerings to catch up to the streaming revolution. 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. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, downloads generated $2.6 billion in revenue in 2014, down 8.5 percent from the year before.

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. Spotify, which started in Sweden in 2008 and came to the United States in 2011, said in January that it has 15 million paying subscribers around the world, as well as 45 million more who listen free, with advertising. (Apple’s iTunes has more than 800 million customer accounts.) Exactly how Apple will match Spotify is unclear.

Those may include curated playlists and a more vivid visual appeal, while conforming to Apple’s sleek and minimal design aesthetic, one person said. That has greatly pleased top executives at major music labels, who have begun to complain openly that so much free music has given consumers too little reason to pay for it. Apple is also expected to overhaul iTunes Radio, the free service that the company introduced in September 2013 as a competitor to Pandora, and which has had little impact on the marketplace.

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