Apple’s all-in bet to be watershed moment for music; $10/month unlimited subscription service and more

“At its developers’ conference next week, Apple is expected to announce a new set of music services, putting the company in competition with Spotify, the world’s leading streaming service, as well as Internet-radio player Pandora and even traditional broadcast stations,” Ethan Smith and Daisuke Wakabayashi report for The Wall Street Journal. “Apple is expected to offer unlimited on-demand streaming for $10 a month, as Spotify does, according to people familiar with the plan. Unlike Spotify, Apple won’t let listeners stream its entire music catalog on demand free of charge. But it plans to augment its free, ad-supported Internet radio service with channels programmed and hosted by human DJs.”

“Music-industry executives see Apple’s all-in bet as a watershed moment for streaming music that could move the technology from early adopters to the mainstream,” Smith and Wakabayashi report. “Apple can aggressively push its hundreds of millions of iTunes customers—most with credit cards already registered with the company—to embrace a subscription model on the same devices where they listen to downloaded songs and albums.”

“People familiar with Apple’s thinking say the company — the world’s leading music retailer — is prepared to cannibalize its download business in favor of streaming, which has been gaining traction world-wide. The subscription model offers the prospect of more revenue for both Apple and the biggest music labels. Apple’s push may include prompting people who download a $10 album to instead subscribe to the streaming service for $10 a month, those people said,” Smith and Wakabayashi report. “Apple plans to promote the new subscription service aggressively, with a major advertising campaign.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Are you willing to pay $119.88/year ($9.99/month) for unlimited on-demand music streaming? Let us know in our poll and, either way, explain what Apple would have to offer for you to do so?

A little birdy who ought to know told us: “Once Apple’s music services are revealed, people are going to say, ‘This is how music should have been distributed online since the widespread advent of 4G LTE.'”

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “BD” for the heads up.]


Apple in talks to sign Drake, Pharrell Williams, and David Guetta as iTunes Radio DJs – June 1, 2015
Kanye West’s long-delayed album release may be connected to Apple Music’s launch – May 21, 2015
Apple’s music streaming service to have Ping-like social network for artists – May 14, 2015
Apple’s new streaming music service to offer free song sampling, free trial, other free features – May 8, 2015


  1. I don’t want to lose focus, but the poor quality of the iTunes store experience almost matches the lack of reliable IMAP on the mac platform. And it has persisted for just as long. Bolting on another layer, copycat at best… we’ll see.

    1. The Mac “platform” doesn’t have any IMAP problems, as IMAP is a client-server protocol, not a system protocol. If you have problems, consider that you may have chosen a poor client. In my experience, Apple’s Mail is just fine.

    2. You’ve made a comment like this several times before, but it’s been completely unqualified every time. I’ve never heard anything specific with regard to Apple products and serious IMAP problems. Are you referring to on OS X? I’ve been using with iCloud, Gmail, and several other IMAP mail services for years without any major problems. To what do you refer?

  2. my bet is that apple is in front here and the free services will slowly go away. the music industry isn’t making money on the free services so i think their time is up. people will complain that spotify and pandora still offer free services but i think that time is coming to an end.

  3. There are features that each Spotify and Pandora have that the other doesn’t have.

    I don’t know what Apples features will be, but I am sure it will have some the other two don’t and some the other two have that I wish Apple’s service did.

    After it is announced, and I get a change to play with it for a month or two, I will probably end up wishing I could combine all of the features from all three.

    I won’t pay for more then one service in the end. I really hope Apple “copies” the best features from both Spotify and Pandora.

  4. I’m a paid Spotify and Pandora user and also use Apple’s current iTunes Radio with my iTunes Match membership. If Apple does a good job streaming, I might drop Spotify. I’ll keep Pandora because I like their playlists.

  5. As Apple further acclimates everyone to the idea that music isn’t “free” then maybe folks will also feel more comfortable kicking $10/mo to support Public Radio which has always been viewed as “free.” 😉

  6. I live in a hilly geographic area. Streaming and Siri are almost worthless to me while traveling anywhere on the peninsula I live on. All streaming services drop out every 3-5 minutes, and then take another 3-4 minutes to reconnect and buffer. You can’t listen to music this way, so I use my old 4S iPhone that contains nothing but music files. I listen to a lot podcasts too, and streaming these can be a problem, the biggest issue is maxing out my data plan every month; so I download these on wifi primarily.

  7. My preference would be for Apple to offer music in Apple Lossless format with an upgrade path for existing purchases like iTunes Plus did a couple of years ago.

    I an really not interested in renting music.

  8. imagine sirusXM without any on-air talent like talk sports howard stern, just music. how many less subs do you think they would have? i would not pay xm’s fee now. not sure i’d pay apple $10. it would have to be really special. plus i can get XM on my car radio, but what about apple’s product?

  9. Musicians are getting screwed by these services. I’m not talking about the ‘Music Business’, I’m talking about actual musicians. I hope they boycott the whole system till they get paid properly for their work. If AAPL is able to guarantee that the musicians can make an honest return on their effort, I will be willing to change my mind. If anyone has the will and the way to do this it is AAPL.

    1. in the end its streaming. the public isn’t buying it and storing it on their bookshelves. This is a new era for musicians and they aren’t going to like the amount they get from streaming. They’ll just have to charge more for concert tix

      1. The only musicians playing concerts are those at the top of the food chain. What about the other 99% of musicians? The classical musicians, the folk musicians, the Bluegrass musicians, the Jazz musicians. They have relied on hard-copy sales for the last several generations. With streaming music, they have no paid outlet for their product. I repeat. Musicians are getting screwed by these streaming services.

  10. A little birdy who ought to know told me: “Once Apple’s music services are revealed, people are going to say, ‘It’s rubbish. Other people got there first. It looks too flat. Apple are making an obscene profit. It’s only for hipsters and the Apple faithful'”

    The little bird also told me that those people will again be shown to be wrong.

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