After acquiring Beats Electronics for $3 billion last year, Apple has kept quiet about its plans for the Beats Music streaming service.
While September reports suggested Beats would be scrapped altogether and the service rebranded as part of Apple’s own iTunes program, Apple was quick to deny the rumours. But 9to5Mac’s sources claim that a new overhaul of Beats will launch in June, at the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference.
The new, Apple-ised streaming service is believed to take the core strengths of Beats Music – unique personalisation and recommendations for listeners – and combine these with iTunes branding and improved integration with the Apple ecosystem.
Beats becomes iTunes
9to5Mac reports that the revamped iTunes will include Beats-sourced technology such as specifically curated playlists, cloud-based music libraries, and overall better customisation of the service for users. It’s expected to be integrated into Apple’s Music application, but will also be offered across platforms (so available to non-iOS users).
TechCrunch has also reported that the company has been busy signing exclusive deals with labels and working on expanding its catalogue. The same sources that spoke to 9to5Mac claim that the new Apple service will be offered at a price of $7.99 USD per month, giving it an edge over the more expensive Spotify and Rdio.
While there are plenty of Apple product owners who already listen to streaming music, this is a chance for the company to the target millions of iOS users who don’t subscribe to digital music services. Apple’s huge customer base means seamless integration of the service into iTunes or Music could introduce its brand of streaming music to a whole new audience.
It’s believed that the WWDC unveiling will showcase the beta version of the service, with the product available to customers as part of an iOS 8.4 upgrade for the iPhone, iPad and iPod. As for an announcement at next week’s Apple event on March 9, it’s unlikely the company will be taking the focus off its ready-to-launch Apple Watch wearable.
Image credit: Kārlis Dambrāns at Flickr