Media & Entertainment

Apple’s Streaming Music Service Will Debut In June

Comment

Image Credits: Artem Rudik (opens in a new window) / Shutterstock (opens in a new window) (Image has been modified)

Apple’s streaming music service, which will be a totally overhauled version of Beats but with iTunes branding and tighter integration with Apple’s own devices and software, will make its official debut in June, likely at WWDC. A source with knowledge of the company’s current plans tells TechCrunch June 8 is the target launch date, at least for an official unveiling. 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman has reported that it will premiere at Apple’s annual developer conference event, which many suspect will fall between June 8 and June 12 this year, though no official dates have yet been set.

Apple’s streaming music offering aims to bring in some of the Beats-style personalization and recommendation features of that current streaming service but will likely be mostly new on the software side, and without Beats branding, as we first reported back in September. Apple still apparently plans to offer the service across platforms, however, including on the web and on Android, 9to5Mac reports, and development on the Android side of things is one of the reasons it’s launching in June and not this March as earlier reports maintained.

A cross-platform offering makes a lot of sense for Apple for a few reasons: First, with music it has a long history of reaching out to competing platforms, starting with iTunes for Windows. Also, it recently made iWork available to all users regardless of hardware preference via iCloud on the web. Services are still essentially a part of Apple’s business that it uses to generate more hardware sales, and things like a streaming music offering or cloud-based productivity software are services it can use to reach out to customers beyond its ecosystem, especially if there are additional benefits to be gained in the form of exclusive add-on functionality when those services are used with Apple devices.

iTunes Match is the closest Apple currently comes to offering a streaming music service.
iTunes Match is the closest Apple currently comes to offering a streaming music service.

Apple will also seek to make its offering more attractive to potential users with more attractive pricing: The company is said to be planning to offer service at a rate of $7.99 per month, which is $2 less than the going rate for paid subscriptions to Spotify and Rdio.

Along with potentially cheaper pricing, another advantage for Apple in the streaming music wars is its massive install base. While Spotify recently hit 60 million users and 15 million paying customers, Apple could push its music service to hundreds of millions of iPhone, iPad and Mac users. Plus, with somewhere around 800 million credit cards on file thanks to iTunes and the App Store, it’s just a few clicks way from turning curious listeners into paid subscribers.

Apple has plenty of cash to throw around to make sure its service has plenty of fan-favorite artists. Sources say Apple has been snapping up record label talent, and already has industry super-connector Jimmy Iovine at the helm. By signing exclusive deals or getting stubborn artists like The Beatles on streaming for the first time, Apple could seduce a wide range of customers, not just streaming early adopters. After Taylor Swift’s clash with Spotify, she buddied up with iTunes and got her album featured there, and there have been whispers about Apple’s interest in her record label Big Machine.

With money so hard to come by in the ailing music business, Apple’s buying power goes a lot farther than in technology. Just a tiny fraction of its stored profits could win it the best catalogue in streaming.

To compete with Apple, services like Spotify will have to rely on platform lock-in through personalization and playlists, early network effect, and ecosystems of API-connected, third-party apps.

But most people around the world have yet to experience unlimited streaming of the history of recorded music. And as Apple as have proven over and over, it can steamroll companies that are doing something early by doing it right.

We’ve contacted Apple for comment, and will update if they provide a response.

More TechCrunch

Tags

Welcome back to TechCrunch’s Week in Review. This week had two major events from OpenAI and Google. OpenAI’s spring update event saw the reveal of its new model, GPT-4o, which…

OpenAI and Google lay out their competing AI visions

Expedia says Rathi Murthy and Sreenivas Rachamadugu, respectively its CTO and senior vice president of core services product & engineering, are no longer employed at the travel booking company. In…

Expedia says two execs dismissed after ‘violation of company policy’

When Jeffrey Wang posted to X asking if anyone wanted to go in on an order of fancy-but-affordable office nap pods, he didn’t expect the post to go viral.

With AI startups booming, nap pods and Silicon Valley hustle culture are back

OpenAI’s Superalignment team, responsible for developing ways to govern and steer “superintelligent” AI systems, was promised 20% of the company’s compute resources, according to a person from that team. But…

OpenAI created a team to control ‘superintelligent’ AI — then let it wither, source says

A new crop of early-stage startups — along with some recent VC investments — illustrates a niche emerging in the autonomous vehicle technology sector. Unlike the companies bringing robotaxis to…

VCs and the military are fueling self-driving startups that don’t need roads

When the founders of Sagetap, Sahil Khanna and Kevin Hughes, started working at early-stage enterprise software startups, they were surprised to find that the companies they worked at were trying…

Deal Dive: Sagetap looks to bring enterprise software sales into the 21st century

Keeping up with an industry as fast-moving as AI is a tall order. So until an AI can do it for you, here’s a handy roundup of recent stories in the world…

This Week in AI: OpenAI moves away from safety

After Apple loosened its App Store guidelines to permit game emulators, the retro game emulator Delta — an app 10 years in the making — hit the top of the…

Adobe comes after indie game emulator Delta for copying its logo

Meta is once again taking on its competitors by developing a feature that borrows concepts from others — in this case, BeReal and Snapchat. The company is developing a feature…

Meta’s latest experiment borrows from BeReal’s and Snapchat’s core ideas

Welcome to Startups Weekly! We’ve been drowning in AI news this week, with Google’s I/O setting the pace. And Elon Musk rages against the machine.

Startups Weekly: It’s the dawning of the age of AI — plus,  Musk is raging against the machine

IndieBio’s Bay Area incubator is about to debut its 15th cohort of biotech startups. We took special note of a few, which were making some major, bordering on ludicrous, claims…

IndieBio’s SF incubator lineup is making some wild biotech promises

YouTube TV has announced that its multiview feature for watching four streams at once is now available on Android phones and tablets. The Android launch comes two months after YouTube…

YouTube TV’s ‘multiview’ feature is now available on Android phones and tablets

Featured Article

Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

CSC ServiceWorks provides laundry machines to thousands of residential homes and universities, but the company ignored requests to fix a security bug.

1 day ago
Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is just around the corner, and the buzz is palpable. But what if we told you there’s a chance for you to not just attend, but also…

Harness the TechCrunch Effect: Host a Side Event at Disrupt 2024

Decks are all about telling a compelling story and Goodcarbon does a good job on that front. But there’s important information missing too.

Pitch Deck Teardown: Goodcarbon’s $5.5M seed deck

Slack is making it difficult for its customers if they want the company to stop using its data for model training.

Slack under attack over sneaky AI training policy

A Texas-based company that provides health insurance and benefit plans disclosed a data breach affecting almost 2.5 million people, some of whom had their Social Security number stolen. WebTPA said…

Healthcare company WebTPA discloses breach affecting 2.5 million people

Featured Article

Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Microsoft won’t be facing antitrust scrutiny in the U.K. over its recent investment into French AI startup Mistral AI.

1 day ago
Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Ember has partnered with HSBC in the U.K. so that the bank’s business customers can access Ember’s services from their online accounts.

Embedded finance is still trendy as accounting automation startup Ember partners with HSBC UK

Kudos uses AI to figure out consumer spending habits so it can then provide more personalized financial advice, like maximizing rewards and utilizing credit effectively.

Kudos lands $10M for an AI smart wallet that picks the best credit card for purchases

The EU’s warning comes after Microsoft failed to respond to a legally binding request for information that focused on its generative AI tools.

EU warns Microsoft it could be fined billions over missing GenAI risk info

The prospects for troubled banking-as-a-service startup Synapse have gone from bad to worse this week after a United States Trustee filed an emergency motion on Wednesday.  The trustee is asking…

A US Trustee wants troubled fintech Synapse to be liquidated via Chapter 7 bankruptcy, cites ‘gross mismanagement’

U.K.-based Seraphim Space is spinning up its 13th accelerator program, with nine participating companies working on a range of tech from propulsion to in-space manufacturing and space situational awareness. The…

Seraphim’s latest space accelerator welcomes nine companies

OpenAI has reached a deal with Reddit to use the social news site’s data for training AI models. In a blog post on OpenAI’s press relations site, the company said…

OpenAI inks deal to train AI on Reddit data

X users will now be able to discover posts from new Communities that are trending directly from an Explore tab within the section.

X pushes more users to Communities

For Mark Zuckerberg’s 40th birthday, his wife got him a photoshoot. Zuckerberg gives the camera a sly smile as he sits amid a carefully crafted re-creation of his childhood bedroom.…

Mark Zuckerberg’s makeover: Midlife crisis or carefully crafted rebrand?

Strava announced a slew of features, including AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, a new ‘family’ subscription plan, dark mode and more.

Strava taps AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, unveils ‘family’ plan, dark mode and more

We all fall down sometimes. Astronauts are no exception. You need to be in peak physical condition for space travel, but bulky space suits and lower gravity levels can be…

Astronauts fall over. Robotic limbs can help them back up.

Microsoft will launch its custom Cobalt 100 chips to customers as a public preview at its Build conference next week, TechCrunch has learned. In an analyst briefing ahead of Build,…

Microsoft’s custom Cobalt chips will come to Azure next week

What a wild week for transportation news! It was a smorgasbord of news that seemed to touch every sector and theme in transportation.

Tesla keeps cutting jobs and the feds probe Waymo