The iPod revolutionized how people listen to music. Gone were the days of popping a CD into a Walkman and going track by track. Suddenly you could purchase any song you wanted, throw it onto a device and listen to it whenever and however you want. However with music stream services like Spotify and Pandora popping up, it seemed like someone had beaten Apple in the digital music business.
Well, Apple is finally responding. At the at the Worldwide Developers Conference today Apple announced a new music streaming service, called “Apple Music,” that will make the entire iTunes catalog (over 30 million songs) available on any device. Users will be able to use their current music library to create personalized playlists that include songs that users don’t already own. In their announcement press release, the company said, “Apple has hired the most talented music experts from around the world, dedicated to creating the perfect playlists based on your preferences, and they become better curators the more you listen.”
You can also use Siri to help find music as well, which will be great when a catchy tune comes on during a commercial and you can’t remember the name.
So you no longer have to pay $0.99 for a song just to hear it on your iPod every once and awhile. Apple says every week users will have access to new artists and albums, which almost seems like it makes iTunes pretty much irrelevant. Why should I pay for a Pearl Jam album if I can listen to 90s alternative and hear all the good tracks plus tons of other hits as well? You can even save tracks so you can listen to them when you’re offline, whether or not you actually own them.
Drake was in attendance at the WWDC to talk about Apple Music and how it will help artists and fans connect. Bands and musicians can post lyrics, videos, pictures or release new songs directly to their fans’ iPhones. Fans can easily comment, like or share all the content as well. Presumably, this will start a giant rap war between Drake and Jay-Z over which hip-hop promoted music streaming service is superior.
Apple Music is also including a new live radio station called “Beats 1,” that includes “music, interviews, guest hosts, news, and culture. No matter where you are, you can hear the same programming as every other listener.” So you won’t actually have to drop $300 on a pair of headphones to enjoy the station.
The service goes live on June 30th for all Apple devices. Fans can enjoy Apple Music for three months free before paying a monthly subscription of $9.99. It will also be available on Windows and Android later this fall.
Ball’s in your court, Spotify! Good luck taking on the most powerful corporation in the world!
Joseph Misulonas is an editorial assistant for Playboy.com. He consistently drops his iPhone 5 while getting off the couch. He can be found on Twitter at @jmisulonas.