Apple Reveals New Music App To Rival Spotify

Apple has announced a new app that combines a streaming song and music video library, an internet radio station and a way for artists to share unreleased tracks and other material.

Apple has announced a new app that combines a streaming song and music video library, an internet radio station and a way for artists to share unreleased tracks and other material.

It includes a recommendation system that uses both human curators and computer algorithms to suggest songs.

The service is set to challenge Spotify, Tidal and other music apps.

Apple also revealed that the UK will be the first country to get its Apple Pay service outside of the US.

“A lot of people in the industry see the launch of the music service as a big deal, and their hope is that this will help take subscription-based streaming mainstream,” commented Chris Cooke, from the news site Complete Music Update.

“But Spotify has an ad-supported free level to help sell its premium packages, which Apple doesn’t, so it still has a unique selling point.”

Apple’s service introduces the Beats 1 radio station, which will be hosted by ex-XulNews DJ Zane Lowe among other big name sign-ups.

The app also works with Apple’s voice-controlled virtual assistant Siri, allowing subscribers to ask it to play a song from a movie soundtrack or year without needing to know the track’s name.

“Apple is arriving late to the music streaming business, due in part to Steve Jobs’ refusal to believe that music subscription services would ever work,” said James McQuivey from the Forrester consultancy.

But, he added, that he believed it would catch up with market leader Spotify’s 15 million paying subscribers in less than a year.

Another analyst suggested Apple might face a challenge explaining all the features on offer.

“Apple Music is a complex mix of services including music streaming, live radio, music discovery and social interaction with artists,” said Geoff Blaber from CCS Insight.

“It’s too early to tell whether this is what users are waiting for but Apple’s installed base, the three month free subscription and family bundle are huge levers that Apple’s competitors will be wary of.”

Apple said the service would launch in more than 100 countries on 30 June, and would cost $9.99 (£6.50) per month in the US for one person – the same as Spotify – or $14.99 for families containing up to six people.

Users do not need to pay to listen to Beats 1.

The Music app will initially be restricted to iOS, Windows PCs and Mac computers, but will extend to Android phones and Apple TVs later in the year.

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