Breaking News Emails
Apple's new streaming-music service, strongly rumored since its acquisition of Beats last year, is officially here: Apple Music is coming to iOS devices June 30 for $9.99 a month.
Apple Music was the famous "one more thing" -- the traditional moniker for the last bit of news from Apple -- at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco on Monday. The service combines downloaded music, streaming tunes, radio and some social elements.
But the biggest news of the day was Apple Music. The new service combines the songs users own with a catalog of 30 million songs available to stream and a 24-hour radio station called Beats 1.
The artist-focused feature Connect lets musicians share backstage photos, exclusive videos or other content with fans directly from their iPhones, and in turn, fans can comment, like and share that media.
Apple Music will compete with Spotify, Tidal, Rhapsody, Rdio and scores of other streaming-music services already on the market.
In addition to the $9.99 a month plan for single users -- in line with what most of Apple Music's competitors charge -- up to six family members can share a $14.99 plan.
Apple focused heavily on the "curated" playlists and Apple Music Radio in its pitch on Monday, trotting out legendary record producer and Beats By Dre co-founder Jimmy Iovine.
"Algorithms alone can't do that emotional task" of choosing great songs that go together in a quality playlist, Iovine said.
He called the current streaming-media field "a fragmented mess" that's confusing for consumers.
But some journalists and Apple fans who tuned in Monday found the Apple Music presentation confusing, with executives jumping from Beats 1 -- Apple’s first ever live radio station -- to features like the Siri voice assistant's new ability to answer questions like "What was the No. 1 song in March 1986?"
Nor was Spotify CEO Daniel Ek impressed, judging by a now-deleted tweet captured by a Business Insider reporter:
Apple Music will launch in 100 countries at the end of the month, and customers can try the service for free for the first three months. The service will come to Android devices in the fall.