Apple announced Apple Music, its long-awaited foray into music streaming, during WWDC on Monday, and the company went all out in presenting the platform. Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine, The Weeknd, Trent Reznor and Drake all helped explain what exactly the new streaming service will do. Here’s everything you need to know about Apple Music.
There will be robust offerings from the start
Apple Music launches June 30 for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, and PC, and will be available in more than 100 countries. The service will combine people’s personal music libraries and the service’s, which has 30 million songs. In addition, there will be curated playlists by “world-class music experts” and an automatic recommendation tool called “For You” (more on that below). They sound similar to Songza and Spotify’s Discover feature, respectively.
The app is scheduled to be available via Apple TV and Android in the fall.
Music just “For You”
“For You” looks simple. The app will ask for some favorite genres and artists, and users can tap more on a category or musician to give greater weight to their preferences. Then playlists will appear on the screen, which users can scroll through. New albums and hot singles will also pop up.
Apple Music is supposed to have a better version of Siri
With Apple Music, you can tell Siri to bring up any song, or a whole category, with commands like “Play the best songs from 2002.” But it didn’t work that well when Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, tried it in a live demo. When he tried to summon “Glory” by John Legend and Common, he instead got Imagine Dragon’s “Selene.”
24-hour live radio station
Welcome to Beats 1, the first station for Apple Music Radio. Music heads, from Zane Lowe to Ebro Darden will lead the way in controlling content. Not only will there be unlimited skips on songs (with subscription), but the station will also include exclusive interviews and guests hosts.
Pick a plan, any plan
Upon signing up for Apple Music, three months are yours for free. After that period, the service will be available for $9.99 a month. The family plan, which costs $14.99 a month, covers six people and requires iCloud Family Sharing.
“Connect” with your favorite artists
Apple Music Connect sounds like an overhauled, rebooted iTunes Ping. It’s a social network where artists can directly interact with fans. The on-stage demo showed singer Chris Cornell sharing a picture of lyrics for an unreleased song, and a short video from Bastille in the studio. Artist posts can be commented on, liked, and shared akin to Facebook posts.
Drake then took the stage and teased the release of his next project, which would use the feature. But he was unclear whether it would exclusively drop via Connect.
The Spotify CEO had an interesting reaction
We’re still waiting to see how Jay Z and Tidal reply, but Spotify CEO Daniel Ek wrote the two-word equivalent of a shrug—before deleting the tweet.