Apple is set to announce its new streaming music service next week, letting people borrow rather than buy music from iTunes for the first time ever.
The company is set to announce the new service, which will see it take on Spotify and is thought to be based on Beats Music, at its Worldwide Developer’s Conference next week, according to the Wall Street Journal. But it won’t announce its anticipated similar service for TV shows, Recode reports.
Apple accounts for as much as 85 per cent of online music sales worldwide, according to reports. But it has very little streaming music presence, and Spotify accounts for a similar proportion of the market for on-demand music.
Like Spotify, Apple’s new service will see people charged $10 for unlimited streaming. There will be a free tier but that will have a much more limited collection — on Spotify’s free service, all songs are available but they are regularly interrupted by ads.
The launch will likely mean that fewer people download music from iTunes as they migrate to the streaming service. Apple is happy for that to happen, the Wall Street Journal reports, and the company could even prompt users that they could listen to albums more cheaply on its streaming service.
The company still hasn’t signed streaming agreements with some of the biggest music companies, according to the WSJ report. It is possible but unlikely that the launch will have to be delayed because those licensing agreements aren’t yet in place.
Apple’s had struggled to agree licenses with copyright holders of both music and TV shows, as part of plans to launch its subscription services. Those problems have meant that a similar video service has meant that it being delayed and won’t be launched at the conference next week, according to the Recode report.
The new service will be partly built on Beats, the music and headphones company that Apple bought last year for $3 billion. A large part of that deal was thought to have gone through so that Apple could get access to the connections and agreements for streaming music that Beats already had in place.