Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Apple Music is go!

Apple has launched its Apple Music streaming service at this year’s WWDC conference in San Francisco. Headline news is that the new platform will be available from 30th June for $9.99 a month, after a free three months period - with a 'family' package costing $14.99 a month for up to six family members sharing with the service promising to “change the way you experience music forever",  initially available on iOS, Mac and Windows, with an Android version following in autumn. 

Opening his presentation by explaining "“So now, 2015, music industry is a fragmented mess. Do you wanna stream music? You can go over here. If you wanna stream video, you can check some of these places out. If you wanna follow some artists, there’s more confusions with that… So I reached out to [Apple executives] Tim Cook and Eddy Cue and said ‘guys, can we build a bigger and better ecosystem with the elegance and simplicity that only Apple can do?", Interscope Records / Beats by Dre co-founder Jimmy Iovine promised “one complete thought” around music. Labelled a “revolutionary music service”, the new service aims to streamline the experience of enjoying music. It also allows artists to share music directly with fans. “When you upload your music to Apple Music, anything can happen,” says Iovine. The core of Apple Music will be a catalogue of millions of songs and music videos to stream on-demand, as well as a wide variety of programmed playlists created by its in-house team of editors, and by musicians. In August 2014 Apple bought Beats for $3 Billion.

Connect will allow artists to publish and post their music directly to fans, with pushes to Facebook and Twitter and they can also share behind-the-scenes photos, lyrics and additional cuts like remixes, with Drake explaining the artist’s perspective, saying how the internet has changed the game for musicians – including his ability to bring music directly to fans: “The dream of being a new artist like myself five years ago and connecting directly with an audience has never been more close and reachable than now". 

Eddy Cue explained the Apple Music iPhone app: here users will be able to search their existing music library, as well as the wider Apple Music library, along with a feature called “For You” that recommends playlists and albums “that you’re going to love.. and it isn’t just algorithms. It’s recommendations made by real people who love music, and they’re our team of experts”. Playlists will be sorted by genre or activity.

Apple Music includes a worldwide 24-hour radio station called Beats1 which will be broadcast from three cities - LA, New York, London -  with ex- BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe amongst the hosts. Julie Adenuga will host live from London.

The launch closed with a performance from The Weeknd's new single ‘I Can’t Feel My Face’.

Apple's objective of paying no royalties to either the three major labels or the independent labels during the free three month launch period has prompted angry comment not least as to why musicians and labels are subsidising the world's most valuable company.  The American Association Of Independent Music has posted its thoughts on Apple Music's objective saying "Since a sizable percentage of Apple's most voracious music consumers are likely to initiate their free trails at launch, we are struggling to understand why rights holders would authorise their content on the service before 1 st Oct. This is especially true in light of the potential revenue damage to a music label's iTunes download revenues and impact on their cash flow".

Video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNUC6UQ_Qvg

http://musically.com/2015/06/08/wwdc-2015-apple-streaming-music-liveblog/ and 
http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2015/06/08/apple-shines-spotlight-on-unsigned-artist-who-doesnt-exist and http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jun/08/apple-music-streaming-service-wwdc-spotify?CMP=share_btn_fb

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