Business News Digital

Apple’s rumoured plans for iBeats revealed

By | Published on Thursday 5 February 2015

Beats Music

Apple – which, I think we all know thanks to that recent profits report, now makes more money every minute than the global record industry, all British ice cream sellers, Camden-based ticket touts, the cleaner branches of Wilkinson, Basingstoke, the moon and One Direction’s biscuit business combined (feel free to insert your own pointless comparison) – will launch a totally new streaming service later this year, tapping into the technology and curation of Beats Music, but using an Apple-designed interface deeply integrated within iTunes.

Which we sort of knew already I think, though a lengthy piece on 9to5Mac provides plenty more insight, stressing that Apple’s next move in music won’t be as simple as plonking the existing Beats Music streaming service – which it acquired with the wider Beats business last year, of course – into the iTunes platform and onto the iOS home screen. Apple’s new fully on-demand streaming service will pull in various elements of Beats, but will be very much its own thing, integrated within iTunes, iOS and Apple TV.

Says 9to5Mac: “The company is currently developing new Beats-infused versions of the Music application for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch, as well as an updated iTunes application for computers that deeply integrates Beats functionality. A new Apple TV application is also in the works”.

It goes on: “While Beats technologies will be under the hood, the interface design will be entirely Apple’s, ditching Beats’ black and red theme for a look consistent with iTunes and the iOS Music app. To ease the transition for current Beats Music users, Apple will let users merge Beats Music accounts with their iTunes/Apple ID profiles”.

Apple’s existing US-based streaming set-up, the Pandora-style iTunes Radio, as well as the iTunes download store and its cloud-storage iTunes Match service, will all remain, it seems.

Of course, however Beats Music is integrated into the iTunes experience, and whatever brand Apple decides to use for it, the big question is what will the IT giant charge for this new-fangled streaming music service.

We all know that the standard $9.99 monthly subscription, employed by Spotify, Deezer, Rdio and, for that matter, Beats, is likely too high for the mass market audience Apple will want to reach with its latest music play. It’s thought that Apple was looking to slash that monthly fee in half, though the latest compromise with the labels is a monthly price point more in the region of $7.99.

As for a launch date, well, 9to5Mac cites sources as saying a planned March launch is now unfeasible, and June is more likely.

Read the full 9to5Mac piece here.