Apple's much-anticipated streaming service will likely be called Apple Music and include a layer of social networking tools for artists when it is unveiled next month, according to report from 9to5Mac.com.
The site likens the new tools to the short-lived Ping social network, saying that artists will be able to have their own profile pages within the new service where they can add new songs, photos, videos and concert dates. Artists will also be able to promote other artists. Subscribers to the service, however, will not have their own pages -- like Ping allowed -- but they'll be able to follow and comment on the artists if they choose.
A possible tip-off of the new feature was accidentally included in this week's iOS 8.4 beta release for developers. In the Settings menu under a list of restrictions you are given the option to turn on/off a feature dubbed "Artist Activity," which likely refers to the Ping-ish social activity of artists on the service.
According to the report, Apple Music subscribers will be able to port over existing Beats Music cloud libraries. As expected, iTunes Match and iTunes Radio -- which is currently being overhauled to better compete with Pandora -- will be retained.
As previously reported, Apple is expected to unveil its premium-only, Beats-based subscription service this year at the company's 26th-annual WWDC event, scheduled for June 8-12 in San Francisco, at the Moscone West. Apple plans to charge $9.99/month for the service.
That said, there are doubts within the music industry that Apple does not have the necessary licensing deals to fully launch the service next month. "June won't be the release date," one major label source told Billboard recently. "The deals aren't done."