The Apple Music service and Beats 1 Radio will be released on the 30th of June this year, offering a three month free trial as a treat to tempt you in. This treat is not quite so great for the content providers, however, as the labels and artists will receive not a dime, making this a magnificent feat of free marketing for Apple. This will allegedly save Apple an estimated $97,440,00 in royalties.
The Apple Music
The service is to provide a very similar system to its rivals Spotify, Tidal, Deezer etc. streaming over thirty million songs to your device for roughly £10 a month or £15 for a family of up to six. As a consumer, a competitive market is a good thing; it drives down prices and produces interesting intuitive products. However paraphrasing Michael Caine to describe Apple’s attempt at entering this market, “you’re only supposed to blow the bl**dy doors off”. Apple are currently under investigation for trying to destroy the music streaming vehicle as we know it. Suspicions were raised on attempts to buy out rights and pay off corporations like YouTube to remove music that is free to access and to get Spotify’s rights to its basic free service revoked.
Beats 1 Radio
The second venture has caused less controversy. Beats 1 offers a twenty-four-hour global radio station based on new music. BBC Radio One management have said they are honoured that such a global giant has taken talent and example from them, employing five of their staff, most notably Zane Lowe, who will host Beats 1 from Los Angeles. It will be interesting to see how this new station develops but in the grand scheme of things it is but a shiny new bauble on Apple’s Christmas tree, possibly to put back in the box in January when Apple realises how little money it makes them. It will be a first for Apple releasing and moderating its own content so we can only wait and listen to find out how much freedom the presenters will have.
Addressing the technical side of the venture, the steaming service seems set to use 256kbs ACC format which will marry to their standards for iTunes. This has been said to be comparable to the 320kbs available from its rivals, but for audiophiles using high-end portable rigs or hi-fi the difference may be more pronounced. The service will be readily available on all up-to-date Apple platforms and surprisingly Android later in the year. The integration of the app into the likes of Sonos or other such speaker systems for the home seems unlikely; it certainly won’t be available at its launch. Apple has never liked to share, but CEO of Sonos John Macfarlane is sure this will change, as people in the home start to demand it. The speaker brand Beats were currently in development of technology that could compete with Sonos in its streaming offerings but the plug was pulled on this after Apple acquired them… perhaps this is something Apple will reinvest in at a later date.
Overall this new chapter in streaming and radio should produce some exciting results from all companies involved. The big question is, have Apple turned up too late to the cocktail party with a six-pack of basics lager?
Feel free to visit us in-store or call our Telesales team on 0333 900 0093 to find out more about the world of music streaming. We can help you find the perfect choice to get you connected to your favourite music.
Author: Joe, Bath store