Apple announce new music streaming service, Apple Music

Drake, Trent Reznor, The Weeknd and Zane Lowe involved in the launch in San Francisco

Apple have announced their new streaming service, Apple Music, at their WWDC keynote speech in San Francisco.

The service was announced at the end of the speech, with Apple CEO Tim Cook saying: “Before we close this morning, we do have one more thing… we do love music.” A video of “the history of music” then played.

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“It will change the way you experience music forever,” Cook continued. He then introduced Jimmy Iovine, who has worked with the likes of Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen, saying: “I’d like to bring up someone who knows more about music and the experience of music than anyone I know.”

Iovine addressed the audience, introducing another video about Apple Music, saying: “In 2003, the record industry was a ball of confusion. We had Napster, we had Limewire, we had Bittorrent.” He then recalled being shown iTunes for the first time by Steve Jobs. “Technology and art can work together, at least at Apple,” he continued. “The music industry is a fragmented mess. if you want to stream music, you can go over here. If you want to check out a video, here’s some more places. if you want to follow an artist, there’s more confusion for that.”

The second video then played, featuring Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor, who described it Apple Music as “a place where music is treated less like digital bits and more like the art it is.”

Apple Music will allow users to stream songs on iTunes on demand, listen to handpicked playlists, recommendations and “all that’s great and breaking in music”. Music experts from across the globe will create playlists based on your preferences, which are meant to learn your tastes the more you listen. Apple Music will have a ‘For You’ section, which will contain albums, new releases and playlists, personalised to your specifications.

The tech giant also announced that Siri will be incorporated into Apple Music, with the service being able to respond to requests like “Play me the best songs from 1994”.

Apple Music will also feature Beats 1, Apple’s first 24/7, worldwide radio station. The station will be anchored by Zane Lowe in LA, Ebro Darden in New York and Julie Adenuga in London. Listeners around the world will be able to hear the same programmes at the same time, while the station aims to offer exclusive interviews and guest presenters. DJs will also create their own channels, and there will be stations dedicated to different genres. Even though Beats 1 is a radio station, listeners will be able to skip through tracks on these genre-led channels.

In another video about Beats 1, Lowe explained: “We have real music fans running this place. We have real artists in the studio right now. We’re called Beats1, we’re always on playing the music that we love.”

Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue also revealed that in Connect, artists – unsigned or signed – can upload videos, latest tracks, behind-the-scenes photos, in-progress lyrics, or remixes, while fans can “love” or comment on their posts. He then invited Drake onstage. “What an honour it is to be in this room with so many individuals who have changed the world with technology,” the rapper began. He then spoke about how his career had taken off by connecting directly with his audience on technology.

Artists will also be able to respond directly to any fan interactions, while fans can also share artists’ posts on email, Facebook, Twitter and iMessage.

The Weeknd closed the presentation with a surprise, worldwide exclusive performance of new song ‘I Can’t Feel My Face’.

Apple Music will launch on June 30, and will cost $9.99 a month. Local pricing is to be announced soon. Apple is giving every user who signs up for Apple Music the first three months free membership, and is also offering a family subscription package. Apple Music will be available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, PC, Apple TV and Android phones.