Apple officially introduced its new music streaming service, dubbed Apple Music, at its WorldWide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco on Monday. The new service will cost $9.99 a month when it officially becomes available at the end of this month; Apple will also offer users a family plan for up to six family members for $14.99 a month, and give new users three months for free.
Apple Music will be available in more than 100 countries, and it will be accessible on iOS, Mac OS and Windows right away, as well as via a new Android app as well as an app on Apple TV later this fall.
Apple CEO Tim Cook was joined by music industry veteran and Beats Electronics co-founder Jimmy Iovine onstage. “In 2015, the music industry is a fragmented mess,” Iovine said. “That’s why Apple intended to bring curated radio, personal collections, an on-demand catalog and interaction with artists all in one place.”
The new service includes an on-demand streaming component, a curated radio service dubbed Beats One and a platform for artists to reach out to fans that Apple is calling Connect. Beats One is being dubbed at a worldwide radio station that is streaming live from studios in New York, Los Angeles and London, and can be accessed next to other radio stations within the new Apple Music app.
“The truth is, Internet radio isn’t really radio,” said Apple senior VP Eddy Cue when introducing Beats One.
Instead, Internet radio has been all about playlists. That’s why Beats One will use real on-air DJs, including former BBC One star DJ Zane Lowe, who got hired by Apple earlier this year.
Apple also invited Drake on stage to talk about the benefits of Connect, which the company touts as a way for artists to publish art and playlists to promote their albums. Users can access more than 10,000 ad-free HD music videos through Apple Music, and the iOS app for Apple Music includes Siri integration to launch into the playback of songs with a simple voice command.
Apple acquired Beats Electronics a little over a year ago for $3 billion. As part of the acquisition, it also got its hands on Beats Music, which had launched as a Spotify-like streaming service earlier that year. Apple Music’s focus on recommendations looks a lot like Beats, and Apple Music Connect seems to have its DNA based in Topspin, a merchandise and networking platform for artists that Beats acquired a year ago.
The impending launch of Apple’s music service had been widely reported over the last couple of weeks. Among the details to leak was that Apple reportedly didn’t have all of the necessary licenses for the service by the end of last week. Apple didn’t detail its music industry partners Monday, but seems to have resolved those differences in time: The service is launching with more than 30 million songs, mirroring similar offerings from Spotify, Rdio and Rhapsody.