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Apple's iTunes helped change the way music-lovers bought their favorite songs, replacing plastic discs with digital downloads. Now the maker of iPods and iPhones wants to carve out a leading role in a revolution well under way, with a new, paid streaming-music service set to launch this summer.
With millions of listeners already tuning in to streaming outlets like Pandora and Spotify, analysts and music-industry sources say Apple has been gearing up to launch its own service, aimed at winning back some of those customers and nudging longtime iTunes users into a new mode of listening.
Apple is expected to announce the service at its annual conference for software developers, which kicks off Monday in San Francisco. In a keynote session, CEO Tim Cook and other executives are also expected to show off new features in Apple's operating software for iPhones, iPads and Macintosh computers, as well as tools for building new apps for the Apple Watch. Analysts also expect enhancements to the mobile-payment service known as Apple Pay.
The world's biggest tech company makes most of its money from selling handheld gadgets, like the popular iPhone, and other computer hardware. But Apple uses its annual World Wide Developers Conference to highlight the software, online services and apps that make those devices indispensable to consumers around the world.