Apple has finally taken the wraps off of its new music streaming service, appropriately called Apple Music, which will officially launch on June 30th.
The new service will be integrated into the existing Music app on iOS and Apple Watch and will also be available through iTunes on Mac and PC starting, as well as an Android app to launch in the fall.
"Music is such an important part of our lives and our culture. We have had a long history of music at Apple," said Tim Cook upon unveiling the new service.
One of the main selling points of the new service is the fact that it has playlists curated by those in the music industry and recommended to users based on their tastes and preferences. These playlists are notably not built by algorithms, but rather by industry professionals who might have a better idea of what makes a good playlist good. Not only that, but it also has a 24/7 radio station called BeatsOne, which will be hosted and run by BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe.
Another interesting feature of the service is called Connect, and it allows artists, including unsigned ones, to interact with fans. It will offer users media other than music, such as photos, videos and social media posts, all in one place.
Of course, pricing is a big selling point too. The service will cost the industry standard of $9.99 per month for a single user, however, perhaps more notable is the fact that Apple will be offering the service to a family of up to six people for only $14.99 per month.
Of course, not everyone is happy about the new service, especially those who will likely lose to Apple in competition. Spotify is one of the best known streaming services to date, but even it should be very concerned about Apple Music. Daniel Ek, the founder and CEO of Spotify simply had this to say, before removing the Tweet.
There is also some cool Siri integration with the service, with users able to ask Siri to play a particular song or to play a song from a movie. Users can also go back in time, with Apple showing off how users can ask Siri to "play the top song of 1982."
Of course, many are wondering if Apple can truly make a mark on music again as it once did, especially considering the fact that it is a little late to the streaming game. The fact that Apple has so many users around the world will certainly act as leverage for the company, as will the integration of its new service with these devices.
Apple also unveiled a number of other updates and new features to its OS X and iOS operating systems, as well as to a number of the core Apple apps. It also announced that there have been 100 billion app downloads on the App Store.