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article imageApple unveils its own music streaming service

By Michael Thomas     Jun 8, 2015 in Business
Among many announcements at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference was one long-rumoured: the tech giant has entered the music streaming market with Apple Music.
Apple Music became official Monday morning and the streaming service will enter a competitive market come June 30.
Apple Music is a subscription service that will cost $9.99 a month, or $14.99 for a family plan for up to six people, with three-month free trials available. The Verge reports Apple initially tried to set the price between $5 and $8 but couldn't convince the music industry to go that low in price.
Aside from the streaming, it will feature a reworked iTunes Radio, with curated playlists and live DJs from across the world. The first channel, Beats 1 — available in 100 countries — will feature Ebro Darden, Zane Lowe, and Julie Adenuga as DJs. Other big names associated with the curation aspect of Apple Music include Pharrell and Drake.
The service will also include a feature called Connect, which brings in social media content from across platforms like Facebook and Twitter to allow listeners to directly connect to the artists they're listening to.
The appeal of the service to some will likely come from Apple Music's integration with iOS. The iOS 9 Apple Music app will be installed by default on new phones, making it easy for those interested to give it a try. Siri is also involved, and users can request artists, songs or even specifics like "Play the top track from 1984."
At launch, the full service will be available on iOS, OSX and Windows. It will be available for Android and Apple TV in the fall.
Apple Music has its work cut out for it as it enters a crowded market for streaming services. The most popular, Spotify, has a user base of 60 million (15 million paid), while Apple Music will also face off against Pandora and the relatively new Tidal. Spotify also offers $9.99 monthly subscriptions (or ad-supported free plays) and Tidal charges $20 a month for high-quality, lossless audio files.
There is no word yet on how large Apple Music's catalogue will be — Spotify has about 30 million songs in its database, while Tidal has about 25 million.
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