Subscribe

Should you switch to Apple Music? Four things to consider.

Apple Music will be available starting June 30. It's meant to rival other streaming music services, including Pandora and Spotify. 

  • close
    Apple CEO Tim Cook, right, hugs Beats by Dre co-founder and Apple employee Jimmy Iovine at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, Monday, June 8, 2015. The maker of iPods and iPhones announced Apple Music, an app that combines a 24-hour, seven-day live radio station called 'Beats 1' with an on-demand music streaming service.
    Jeff Chiu/AP
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

On Monday, Apple announced its new music streaming service, Apple Music, available on iOS starting June 30. (Android users can jump on board this fall.) The service seems similar to Beats Music, a company Apple bought last year, although Apple has put their own twist on things.

So what are the most important takeaways from the Apple Music announcement?

Free Trial and Family Plan

Meant to compete with services like Spotify, Apple Music service launches with three-month free trials on June 30. After that, it will cost $9.99 a month for an individual or $14.99 a month for a six-person "family plan."

The individual cost is fairly standard for this type of service; it's the same monthly fee Spotify, Rdio, Tidal, and Beats Music charge for standard premium service. But, if you have many people in your house who'll use it, Apple Music (for as little as $2.50 per person) starts to stand out.

While Spotify and Rdio also offer discounted group rates, they charge $14.99 for two people or $29.99 for five, which is significantly less affordable. While Spotify has said they "expect to offer competitive pricing everywhere in the near future" it remains to be seen if the company will be able to follow through.

Radio Stations

Keynote speakers described it as a "music ecosystem" that would include music purchases, music streaming, social network features, and a live radio station called Beats1. Beats1 will be run 24/7 by three DJs: Zane Lowe, formerly of BBC Radio One; Ebro Darden; and Julie Adenuga. It's implied that more stations may follow.

Expert-Curated Playlists

In addition, Apple Music will offer expert-curated playlists, which speakers were careful to contrast with the algorithm-based playlists offered by services like Pandora. You can pick playlists based on music genre or by the activity they're meant to accompany, like some fast-paced exercise music or mellow relaxation tunes.

"Connect," Social Media, and Exclusive Content

One interesting inclusion is the feature they're calling "Connect." Connect will allow artists to upload their own music, photos, and messages to share with fans. In many ways, it's a social networking feature, similar to following an artist's blog, but Apple suggested they hope it assists savvy unsigned artists in helping fans discover their work.

Of course, how useful it will be to those artists depends heavily on how many users Apple is able to draw in, and how successful it is at getting users to the social networking side of the app. With Apple's extensive current userbase for iOS and iTunes and their offer of a lengthy free trial, it seems likely that they'll be able to pull in a large userbase.

Some big music names will be acting as guest DJs for Apple - will.I.am, Dr. Dre, Pharrell, and Drake - are likely to provide exclusive content through Connect as well. If Apple Music can tempt many such artists into using the social side of their platform, it becomes more attractive for users.

Are you looking forward to trying out Apple Music? If so, what's the big draw? Price, human-curated stations, Connect, or something else? Let us know in the comments.

Erin Coduti is a contributor for DealNews, where this article first appeared.

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best personal finance bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link in the blog description box above.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK