Apple purchased Beats back in August of 2014, and ever since, rumors have been swirling about the future of the two companies. Most recent reports suggest that Apple is working with top Beats engineers to develop a streaming service of its own.
Not only that, but Trent Reznor, vocalist and founder of metal band Nine Inch Nails, is reportedly playing a major role in the development of the service.
Apple's offering is likely to have many of the same features as Beats music, such as curated playlists. Apple will also, of course, make sure that the new app fits within its ecosystem in terms of design. Most expect the service to run for $9.99 per month, a price similar to most other streaming services. It is also said that, unlike other streaming services, there will be no free tier. Some reports suggest that Apple recently attempted to strike a better deal with record labels, which would have allowed the company to charge only $8 per month, likely enticing many customers to join the new service.
Beats has struggled since its release to be a major player in the music streaming industry despite the fact that it offers a number of unique and interesting features, such as playlists curated by music experts.
Most suggest that Beats is a very important part in how Apple shapes its future. While Apple was once at the forefront of the digital music industry with iTunes, the uprise of music streaming has not been kind to Apple. However, Beats offers Apple a second chance in the industry in spite of the fact that it is very late to the game.
"They're used to being a shaper rather than a responder," said Toni Sacconaghi, financial analyst for Sanford C. Bernstein. "This is one of the few times where Apple is playing catch-up and not necessarily coming from a position of strength."
There's no word yet on exactly when the new service will launch, however, reports indicate that it will be a part of Apple's next iOS release, iOS 9. This will launch, alongside the next iteration of the iPhone, which will probably be called the iPhone 7 or iPhone 6S.
Alongside a new Beats, it is also expected that Apple will totally overhaul iTunes Radio. It's certainly possible that iTunes Radio will turn into Apple's new streaming service or that they will be combined in some way.
Even if Beats was a success, it would not make much of a different for Apple's overall profit. Pandora, one of the most profitable streaming services makes roughly $1 billion per year. Apple, however, makes a whopping $183 billion per year.
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