Apple just announced Apple Music, its new streaming service that officially represents the relaunch of Beats Music.
“It’s going to change the way you experience music,” Tim Cook said, before introducing Jimmy Iovine.
Iovine said that there are too many services out there that don’t quite do enough. One service does one thing, while another service does another.
“There needs to be a place where music can be treated less like digital bits,” said Trent Reznor in a video introducing the service.
At the heart of Apple Music is a feature called Connect, which is essentially Ping for artists. This gives artists the ability to share and communicate with fans in an unprecedented way. Even unsigned artists can connect with people and share their art. Apple brought Drake on stage to talk about the feature a little bit, saying this will be a great opportunity for artists.
Not only is Connect great for artists to connect with fans, but it’s a platform that’ll allow them to post new tracks, lyrics, behind-the-scene photos, tour updates, and more. Your own Connect feed will look a lot like Instagram or something similar, where you’l see updates that you can like, share and comment on. Artists can share lyrics to a song they haven’t even recorded, or share a video of themselves in the studio.
There’s also a Beats One feature, which is essentially a 24-hour radio station broadcasting every day. Iovine said Apple Music will put emphasis on human curated music, which is pretty much what we got from Beats. All of this will take place in a single app.
Part of the new service is something known as For You, which personalizes playlists and albums you might like. Apple is really pushing the human curation angle, saying that other service that rely strictly on algorithms aren’t as good.
In addition to the human curation stuff, Apple is also really making a case for Beats One, the 24/7 global radio station. I mean, that sounds cool? I would prefer to pick my own music, but as part of its rebranded iTunes radio, Beats One is a different take on the radio station, putting famous DJ voices behind the music you’re hearing.
Riffing on Beats Music, when you sign up for Apple Music, you’ll have to tell it what genres and artists you prefer. If you like Rock and Bruce Springsteen, you’ll get handpicked recommendations based on your tastes.
In addition to all of this music, Apple Music will also let you watch music videos right from within the app. Cool, maybe? Based on these features, Apple Music isn’t all that different from other services. I mean, it looks like a solid and competent service, but I’m not all that convinced to switch away from Spotify.
Apple Music will be available on June 30 for $9.99 per month, or $14.99 for a family plan. Oh, and it’ll be available for Android and Windows later this fall. What’s crazy is that Apple will give you three months for free. If you decide not to subscribe, you’ll still be able to listen to Beats One and use the Connect feature to follow your favorite artists.