Apple watchdog 9 To 5 Mac has published a report, based on information from “multiple sources within Apple and the music industry,” that goes inside the tech giant’s nascent streaming service. It’s the first (believable) information on the fate of Beats Music the public has seen. While there were rumors of a March launch of the service, summer is said to be the new target date of the big reveal.
As expected, Apple is said to be planning to fold Beats into iTunes and the iOS Music app, as well as Apple TV. Also as expected, the design and functionality will be Apple-centric — the black-and-red style of Beats Music probably won’t make it to Internet iTunes (simply a suggestion). Nitty-gritty functionality includes the option to download music into their personal libraries. Beats Music’s much-touted editorial playlist features — of which Beats executive Julie Pilat said in August 2013: “It’s about an art for connecting and giving [consumers] what they want… to bridge the gap between that ‘tastemaker’ audience and the mainstream. And give a lot of music context” — will also make the jump.
The most striking thing in the new report, and one that should have other streaming services seriously considering issuing some coupons if it turns from fiction to fact, is the long-coveted drop in price point. Spotify, Rdio, et al. have set something of an industry-wide standard monthly rate of $9.99 per month. Apple’s Beats remix is predicted to cost $7.99. As long as Beats retains the now-standard gigantic catalog size of 30 million-plus songs, they will likely, considering Apple sold 39.2 million iPhones last quarter alone (beating sales of Android), have quite a few people jumping over from the other services.
Also notable, though also not surprising, is a plan to bring the Beats application over to Android, iOS’ biggest competitor. (Windows Phone users seem to be out of luck.) Whether the Android iteration will be a standalone Beats app or an Android version of its Music app remains to be seen. But it begs the question: why not both?
Not mentioned in the report is Apple’s recent purchase of Semetric, which would likely serve as labels’ dashboard on the new service.
It’s important to note that these are all things that many expected from Apple. Apple strong suit and the reason for its success has been, since the re-launch of the iMac, giving consumers more than they expected, or thought they needed.
9 To 5 Mac goes on to share some scuttlebutt on the integration of the Beats Music development team with Apple’s — mainly, that it isn’t going well. These are, as with the rest of the news, still unconfirmed.
No disrespect to Jay Z, but he has a lot of work to do if he wants to catch up to Dr. Dre.
Representatives from Apple and Beats did not immediately respond to requests for comment.