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Tim Cook Touts New Apple Music Subscriber Count, Welcomes Mario to iOS

Tim Cook took a minute out of Apple's keynote event on Wednesday to announce a sizable jump in subscriber totals for its music streaming service, and to introduce a new hero.

Tim Cook took a minute out of Apple’s keynote event on Wednesday to announce a sizable jump in subscriber totals for its music streaming service. After telling attendees in San Francisco (and the scores of credit card-clutching viewers at home) that “we’ve always had a deep love of music,” Cook said Apple Music has grown to 17 million paid subscribers, up from 15 million in June. 

Cook touted a refreshed Apple Music that will debut with the launch of iOS 10, plus he boasted that the service “has content that no one else has,” namely exclusive album releases by artists ranging from Frank Ocean, Drake and others.

The CEO also announced a partial lineup to this year’s Apple Music Festival in London, with Elton John, OneRepublic, Robbie Williams and Britney Spears already on the bill. “If you can’t make it to London, you can joint he millions that will be watching it for free from your Apple devices,” he said.

Earlier, Cook revealed that Apple Music will be premiering episodes of James Corden’s popular “Carpool Karaoke” series early next year. 

Apple Event Kicks Off With Tim Cook ‘Carpool Karaoke’ Sing-Along

Perhaps even more exciting than a 2 million jump in Apple Music subs was the introduction of a new iPhone game starring everyone’s favorite Italian plumber, Mario. Legendary video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto (The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong) took to the stage to unveil Super Mario Run, Nintendo’s latest jump into mobile gaming. “For the past 30 years, every time Mario has encountered a new platform, he has evolved and continued running towards a new goal,” said Miyamoto. “Now, he’s running towards his next goal, iPhone.”

The game has a look and feel of the classic Super Mario Bros. game, but with an added bonus: Mario runs automatically to the right, meaning you’ll only need one hand to jump on your enemies and to snag coins. Through an interpreter, Miyamoto mimed several things users can do while playing the game, like straphanging on the subway or eating a hamburger. He said the game should be available for the holidays and that it will have a fixed price (in-app purchases) to be announced later.