With iTunes Music, Apple wants to help music labels roll back the tide of free digital music

“Right now it’s easy to stream any song you want, whenever you want, legally, without paying a penny,” Peter Kafka reports for Re/code. “The big music labels want that to change. Apple says it wants to help them.”

“Apple executives have been telling the music industry it can help them roll back the tide of free digital music by relaunching its own subscription streaming service this year,” Kafka reports. “Unlike Spotify and YouTube, Apple’s service won’t offer a free ‘tier’ of music interspersed with ads — after an initial trial period, you’ll need to pay to play.”

“Apple is negotiating with the music labels for licenses for a revamped version of Beats,” Kafka reports. “Sources say Apple would like to make a splash by getting high-profile artists to distribute their music with Apple before it makes its way to other services.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Get the experience and price right – tall orders, both – and we’ll be there with bells on.


    1. I guess with exclusive content? However I don’t quite understand why the article is equating “free” with “no revenue”. If it’s ad supported, the ad revenue should make up for the subscription loss (or increase the ads until it does).

  1. I listen to music in my car and on mobile devices from a library well over a thousand CD’s. Well obviously the music subscription model is so not for me. I still would rather still buy a CD and rip it to Apple Lossless – sounds great in the car. (I was shocked at how blah Sirius Radio sounded on a recent free trial.) Easy because there’s not all that much worth buying. And who wants another monthly nut to pay out. Your mileage may vary.

    1. hear, hear!

      Lately Apple has just started imitating the streaming competitors who rely on subscription and/or advertising. Most people would agree that all streaming services screw over the artist . With the narrow algorithms, almost all of them are just as repetitive as what passes for broadcast radio these days.

      The further Apple walks away from the original iTunes model — which allowed a collector to buy music at practically any quality file and manage it in his private collection with intelligent playlisting — the less interested I am in Apple’s supposed love of music.

      Apple desperately needs to update itTunes software with a better interface to allow the user to effectively his collection OR buy new music, not attempt to push the store into every view. The user shouldn’t have to work so hard to find stuff or manage his collection. Most of the stuff in the iTunes store in completely mislabeled or has incomplete tags. The iTunes store also needs a much better search function and it’s long past time that Apple sells ALAC files. The reason that streaming has become popular isn’t because iTunes isn’t a better model, it’s because Apple keeps Fing up the software and the store to add crap no one wants (ping, store links for stuff you already own, iCloud sync that can only hold a small fraction of a decent music collection, screwed up info views that hide metadata info that used to be shown clearly) while performance and usability of iTunes goes down the tubes. Fix it Apple!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. Very optimistic if you think that those changes will stop the streaming band wagon. Apples error was not seeing that it could work if done right when everyone e,se got years was doing badly rather than sticking to what it knew and claiming that’s what everyone wants. That’s very un-Apple like (indeed very Microsoftian) and now they have to play catch up having lost that particular market through arrogance and gradually much of their own to it. Arguing that the present system just needs yet another reworking rather than bend to the new is the sort of thing that Apple road kill used to say before becoming roadkill. Apple needs to offer both methods of listening to your music and do it better than the opposition and learn that they can’t always tell people how they will be allowed to do so.

        1. What streaming bandwagon? This bandwagon you speak of is nothing but a collection of parasites seeking the latest, greatest free, and it works great except when you’re out of wifi range. So precisely when you’re away from tech, that’s when you lose your songs. Convenient! There is no real future in being the company that throws cut-rate goodies out to people who pay for them, unless you’re the only distributor of such, and you start this distribution when the user is very, very young.

    1. Yes. Renting your music means always being enslaved to the people that provide it to you. Who knows when they’ll suddenly start charging, make listening cumbersome or painful, or just pull up tent stakes completely? The rental society is for hoodrats. Real men own.

  2. If only they would start selling lossless (or lossless compressed) files I would have to get a second job.

    I won’t buy mp3s – I have no quarrel with people who will and don’t want to argue about it – bandwidth and storage are cheap these days.

    Sell the lossless files! Go 24/96 even! Watch the sales grow.

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