Apple Music launches

Published: June 30, 2015

Apple Music launches, Spotify beware – Apple Music is here. The long-awaited music streaming service is now available. Here’s everything you need to know.

:: What is Apple Music?

An on-demand streaming service, plus a curated internet radio station called Beats 1, and a blog platform for artists to share media with fans.

The service will provide music recommendations based on what the user has previously played or liked, and it can also be operated using voice commands.

:: Is it free?

No. There is a monthly subscription cost of £9.99. It’s the same as Spotify, but unlike its Scandinavian competitor there is no free tier.

Apple is going head-to-head with Spotify with its new service

However, everyone will get the opportunity to try it out for three months for free. After that, the service will be full price.

A family plan will allow up to six people use the service for a flat monthly fee of £15.

:: How has Spotify responded?

It says it will match Apple’s family pricing plan, effectively neutering one of Apple Music’s key selling points.

:: What is Beats 1?

A 24/7 radio station broadcasting online in 100 countries.

Apple poached BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe to head up the presenting team. As well as interviews with artists and other typical radio features, listeners will have the option to skip tracks.

:: Is it much different to competitors like Spotify and Tidal?

Not really. They both have similar-sized music catalogues (30 million songs) and charge the same amount.

However from what we’ve seen so far the interface and recommendation system on Apple’s service does look impressive.

It also boasts a number of exclusives, and has negotiated with Taylor Swift for permission to include her most recent album ‘1989’, plus her back catalogue.

:: When can I use it?

If you have an iPhone or iPad you can now update your operating software, giving you the updated music app with all the new features.

The service will also be available on OS X and Windows, but people with Android phones will have to wait until later in the year.

:: Wasn’t Apple once opposed to legal music streaming?

Yes. Way back in 2003, the late Steve Jobs said: “These services treat you like a criminal. And they are subscription based and we think subscriptions are the wrong path.

“One of the reasons we think this is because people bought their music for as long as we can remember When you own your music it never goes away. When you own your music you have a broad set of personal use rights – you can listen to it however you want.”


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