Apple unveiled its new music streaming service, including a 24/7 radio station and a feature that connects artists to fans. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Apple stepping to the beat of competitors like Pandora and Spotify. The company unveiling its new streaming music service, Apple Music, at its Worldwide Developers Conference. Columbia Business School professor Jerry Kim: SOUNDBITE: JERRY KIM, STRATEGY PROFESSOR, COLUMBIA BUSINESS SCHOOL (ENGLISH) SAYING: "There is a lot of symbolic importance to it, and, so, if Apple can solve the problem of music, and, as, I think, Tim Cook mentioned, it's a very fragmented market, so if Apple can provide that solution, than obviously that would be a very big win for them." After a three-month trial, consumers pay $9.99 or $14.99 for a family plan, in line with rivals. Apple has a lot going for it, but streaming music is a highly competative market. Gartner's Van Baker: SOUNDBITE: VAN BAKER, RESEARCH VICE PRESIDENT, MOBILITY, GARTNER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It's not a trivial amount of money and some people will convert and others wont, but it's competitive with the other services in the market, from Spotify and such, but they don't have a free offering, really, and so that still gives Spotify an advantage to the degree that they can bring people in for free and convert them on an ongoing basis, whereas Apple is basically placing a bet that they only have to do that for three months." Apple hopes part of the draw will be Beats 1, a global radio station. Apple Music also promises to connect artists and fans, with a service called Connect that lets artists upload music photos and messages with fans, similar to Jay-Z's new entry Tidal that has been sharing behind the scenes material. SOUNDBITE: VAN BAKER, RESEARCH VICE PRESIDENT, MOBILITY, GARTNER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It's really going to depend on the artists. You know, Apple tried to do that in the past by building a social aspect into iTunes. It was not received well. Some of the artists got on board early on, but many of them just had no interest in it. We will have to wait and see how well the artists respond this time." Also unveiled Monday, an operating system upgrade for the Apple Watch that will make it less dependent on the iPhone, and for Apple Pay, agreements with store branded credit cards.