Apple Music to take on streaming competitors, even on Android

The service will launch later this month with a live radio station based in the UK and US

Apple Music debuts June 30 — all the ways you love music, all in one place

Apple Music debuts June 30 — all the ways you love music, all in one place

Apple, which revolutionised the music industry with the launch of iPod and iTunes, has launched a major push to steal listeners from rival streaming services and, for the first time, land on Android phones.

Apple Music is the company's vision for its next chapter in music and, it turns out, a vision that relies heavily on the Beats Music service, which Apple acquired in 2014. Beats co-founder and music industry mainstay Jimmy Iovine unveiled the service at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference keynote, saying that the modern music industry is a "fragmented mess" that the service will bring together.

A central part of Apple Music will be a streaming radio station called "Beats One." The station will be anchored by DJs in London, New York and Los Angeles who will select the music for around-the-clock broadcasts to more than 100 countries. It's helmed by Zane Lowe, a DJ and music tastemaker who left his show at BBC Radio 1 earlier this year to go work at Apple.

That's not an innovation for most broadcast radio listeners, but users of apps like Spotify are accustomed to song selection done by computers. That typically results in a playlist of songs that are tightly similar. Beats One promises a wider variety of music. Apple Music will also feature human-curated playlists, which was one of the marquee features of Beats Music.

When users first sign up for Apple Music, the service will prompt them to provide information about their musical tastes. Using an interface cribbed from Beats Music, people can pick out their favorite genres and artists, which will then be set to provide them with personalized music recommendations.

There's also a service called "Connect," which is intended to be a place where fans can follow updates from the artists they love, through status updates, music clips and videos. The feature mirrors the type of updates artists post on social media services and follows the current trend of letting artists connect directly with their fans. It's the second time Apple has taken a swing at a music-based social network after the failure of Ping, a service that let users and artists share postings about what they're listening to.

Apple Music won't be free. A monthly subscription will cost $9.99 with a six-member family subscription running $14.99 per month. The service will launch in over 100 countries on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and PC from June 30 and come to Apple TV and Android phones in the fall. Apple will make the service's first three months available to everyone for free to try and get people hooked on the selection.

Apple's move to Android is the first time its main music software has been available on the Google-owned operating system. At present, iTunes is available on both Apple Mac and PCs, but Android users have had to funnel Apple music collections into other software apps. Apple Music will provide direct access. It's not entirely unexpected, since Beats Music already works across mobile platforms including Android and Windows Phone.

Apple Music will also include familiar features from iTunes, including a my music window that includes a user's music library and suggestions for new songs users might like.

The one constituency Apple's announcement did not fully address was the community of artists creating music, and how much they will be paid when listeners choose to consume their work via the new streaming service instead of paying for downloads or buying CDs. It remains to be seen if smaller acts will be able to eke a living out of having their music played via Apple Music.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internetAppleInternet-based applications and servicesMusic and audio

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?