When Apple purchased Beats Audio last year for $3 billion, everyone knew the company had some type of big plans in store, and speculation swirled regarding Apple's game plan in making its largest acquisition ever. It soon became clear that Apple's intentions were to leverage its Beats asset in an entry into the music streaming area. Now, new details are emerging on the specifics of the launch.
With the Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco just a week away, Apple looks to be stepping up its game in preparation for the announcement of its new streaming music service at the event. The company is apparently in talks with several major pop stars and popular music producers to act as guest DJ's on the service. Drake has reportedly been offered a whopping $19 million to sign on, and famed producer and performer Pharrell Williams, along with top EDM artist and DJ David Guetta are also in talks with Apple.
The company apparently intends to relaunch Beats along with iTunes Radio as part of a streaming service, which combines many of the popular aspects of its rivals YouTube, Spotify and Pandora. In addition to music streaming, Apple also plans to offer videos, artist pages and free lyrics to subscribers of the $10 monthly service. The company expects to entice new users with a three-month free trial.
Record labels, however, aren't too happy about all the freebies Apple plans on offering, as it appears the company is expecting them to bear most of the expense. In addition to demanding the rights to the lyrics be given to them at no cost, Apple is also asking the labels to provide the music streaming rights to the company for free during the three-month trial period. With only a week to go before the big unveiling on June 8 featuring Tim Cook and a slew of top music performances, it will be interesting to see how all these last-minute negotiations ultimately pan out.