Apple Music to offer users three months free; Apple to largely abandon 15-year-old iTunes brand

“When Apple unveils a new music streaming service at the Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, it will largely leave behind its 15-year-old iTunes brand,” Tim Bradshaw and Matthew Garrahan report for The Financial Times. “The company’s competitor to streaming pioneers such as Spotify and Pandora, the radio service, will simply be called Apple Music.”

“Apple Music is expected to come preinstalled when iPhone owners upgrade to the latest operating system,” Bradshaw and Garrahan report. “Unlike Spotify, the new Apple streaming service will not have a free tier. Mr Iovine, the music industry veteran and former Beats chief executive who is running Apple Music, is a vocal opponent of free music. But Apple will offer users three months’ free use when they sign up.”

MacDailyNews Note: Apple Music will reportedly offer unlimited listening and artist-curated internet radio for $9.99 per month.

Bradshaw and Garrahan report, “One digital-music insider estimates that Apple would need to win more than twice as many subscribers as Spotify has accrued in the last seven years to generate the same revenue that iTunes downloads make today.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Of course, Apple would like to make money, but this is negligible money to Apple. The value comes from making the high-margin hardware even more difficult to resist. Apple has enough money to run the service at a loss for hundreds of years. Yes, hundreds. Worldwide, assuming it rolls out beyond the U.S. immediately or rather soon, if Apple Music can’t garner just 30 million subscribers at $9.99/mo. each, something is drastically wrong.

A free trial period of three months sounds perfect, especially as it’s soon to be the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere where the usual suspects for initial rollout reside (U.S., Canada, Europe, China, Japan) and the season where music is played outdoors at parties and on the beach; places where many people can hear Apple Music and the new deejay-powered iTunes Radio for the first time.

As for “iTunes,” the application, and “iTunes Store,” the online storefront, the brand has long been a misnomer. If anything, it should be called “iMedia” and “iMedia Store” or something. Music, movies, TV shows, books, textbooks, podcasts, audiobooks, radio, apps… sheesh! Both have become a monstrosity. The iTunes brand has served its purpose.


All-new Apple Music subscription service, rebuilt iTunes Radio to arrive with iOS 8.4 in late June – June 5, 2015


    1. Not necessarily. Apple Music could be the brand name for Apple’s streaming offering, while iTunes could be for downloadable music. Keep in mind that iTunes also handles Apple’s movie/TV show distribution as well.

      But it does seem like Apple is moving away from the “i” monikers and toward  monikers.

            1. Google already has their ‘Play” series of Apps.. The music one is called “Play Music”. The other 3 being “Play Books”, “Play Movies & TV” and “Play Newsstand”. Unlikely they will change the names unless they move away from the “Google Play Store” branding.

  1. Canada, initial rollout? Don’t be absurd – that’s true for hardware only.

    iTunes Radio and Apple Pay are STILL not available in Canada. For any service that requires negotiations with third parties, Apple seems unable to roll it out to anywhere but the US. It’s concerning.

    The NFC capability is still completely useless to me 8 months after I bought it.

    1. And the stupidity is that almost EVERY store has MasterCard PayPass and Visa PayWave meaning that Canadians pretty used to just tapping their cards everywhere they go (for purchases under $100).

      Apple Pay would, overnight, just work.

      1. Apple won’t sign a deal that is poor both in terms of charges but also in customer privacy. If the Canadian arms of Visa/MC or various Canadian banks, etc. are demanding terms that Apple won’t agree to on philosophical grounds, then you don’t get to blame Apple.

  2. Well, I hope the iTunes app never goes away. I jumped into digital music downloads because Apple claims that what I purchase is my property. If they are trying to figure out a way to change the technology to make everyone re-purchase their music in some other format then I’ll consider the digital music experiment a failure and go back to purchasing music on CDs. I want to own my music, so incur another monthly bill through a subscription plan.

    1. You still own the music you’ve purchased regardless of whether you use iTunes to organize and play it. They’re all in your Music folder.

  3. If they sell radio subscriptions, it is fine and dandy with me. To each his own. If they kill itunes so no one can buy music to keep, that would be a huge fiasco, along the lines of “New Coke.”

      1. For me, there are two reasons:
        – I only buy music very occasionally
        – I’m frequently in areas with no connection… no streaming

        Please ask your questions without the confrontative rudeness.

          1. A playlist is usually like a Table of contents in a book.. I hope you meant also downloading the music to be played otherwise you’ll never get to hear any music w/o a data connection.

  4. Soundjam was the inspiration to iTunes… then iTunes was a gateway to windows/music-movie-app store… so, will the new iTunes be the iCloud??

  5. I think iTunes will continue to live on, not sure why everyone is predicting its death so soon. It sounds like Apple Music will just be a separate entity.

    In Spotify currently, my iTunes music is all available to me, I would think Apple Music would allow the same thing, and much like iTunes Radio, would allow you to purchase each song as well.

    Only been a subscriber to Spotify for 3 months, and I’m pretty sure I will jump to Apple Music if it looks good enough.

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