Apple’s new streaming music service to offer free song sampling, free trial, other free features

“Apple is still negotiating deals for the streaming service, which it would like to announce soon,” Dawn Chmielewski and Peter Kafka report for Re/code. “But it would like to offer several ways to let people listen to some music without paying, according to industry sources.”

Those include:
• A free trial period, which may range from one to three months, depending on the outcome of Apple’s negotiations with music labels.
• A feature that will let music owners upload a sampling of songs that users could could listen to without subscribing to the service. Several sources describe this feature as something akin to SoundCloud, the music streaming service that describes itself as the “YouTube for audio.”
• A new version of Apple’s iTunes Radio, featuring stations programmed by human beings instead of computers, which could be localized for different countries.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As details leak, this service is sounding like a very comprehensive deal.

The ability to make a playlist of free songs, a SoundCloud for commercial music, without having to subscribe is intriguing and, we imagine, would be popular.

A free trial period, whether it be one month or longer, is essential.

The big question: Can Apple negotiate the right price for the masses?

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz,” “Dan K.,” and “Judge Bork” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Apple still plans WWDC debut for new ‘iTunes Music’ subscription service – May 5, 2015
Apple lacks key music deals ahead of ‘iTunes Music’ subscription service launch, sources say – May 5, 2015
Apple pushing music labels to kill free Spotify streaming ahead of ‘iTunes Music’ launch – May 4, 2015
U.S. feds weigh investigation of Apple’s forthcoming ‘iTunes Music’ streaming service – April 7, 2015
EU regulators already probing Apple’s music streaming plans in Europe – April 2, 2015
Apple’s ‘iTunes Music’ streaming service to cost $9.99/month, no free tier; iTunes Radio to get makeover – March 26, 2015
With iTunes Music, Apple wants to help music labels roll back the tide of free digital music – March 6, 2015


  1. Who needs to upload their music to the cloud? Why would you need a music streaming service to listen to music you already own? Has everybody forgotten about iPhones and iPods? Or is everyone simply falling for the “everything on every device” BS that all cloud services (including Apple’s) are pushing?

    1. I have a ton of different devices, and managing all the music on them would be a nightmare if it wasn’t for iTunes Match. It’s not so much about streaming as it is about managing all of my playlists and being able to access more content than what I have room for on the device.

      It’s fine if you don’t have that need, iTunes Match and streaming services aren’t a requirement for anything else. You’re still perfectly able to rip CDs or download music and sync, even via USB if you want. I don’t see Apple removing this functionality anytime soon even as they build out better cloud services.

      Purchase downloads are much more profitable for Apple than streaming music. It’s just that Apple’s streaming music is more profitable than Spotify, Pandora, Sirius, etc… are for Apple. And Apple can produce a better user experience.

    2. In pushing the “cloud”, Apple acts more and more like Microsoft every day. I wish Apple would concentrate more on software quality than server rental and subscription-based services. Software and music rental is just not for me.

  2. 1. Have each track link enabled so people can send links to each other. If the user is not a member than the song can only be played once or twice. Playing the song a second or third time should prompt the user to sign-up for the free trial service.

    2. One to three months trial is a great hook. I used the Beats service for one week and it just wasn’t enough time to get me fully ingrained, so I did not sign-up. The one to three month trial means that I will listen to much more newer music then I do currently and allow me to create many playlists of my favorites. If the new service is lacking then after the trial period I will pay for about half the songs in my playlists. Win-win.

    3. One of the draws of YouTube is seeing live recorded performances of songs. Typically, the video is OK/Mediocre but the sound quality is awful. It would be nice to see curated user generated videos mixed with a professional recording from the soundboard.

    1. I wouldn’t mind them removing or upping the 25K limit. Other than that, it’s pretty much how I like it. I’d also like to see iTunes Match extended to the Apple Watch.

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