According to Wall Street Journal, Apple is set to launch its much-anticipated streaming service in the coming weeks for $10 a month. Although it is unclear how much is certain and how much is rumour, sources obtained by Wall Street Journal claim that Apple won’t offer a free catalogue of music as Spotify does, and instead only offer a handful of free content.
If proven correct, it would be a risky move from the massive company. In contrast, the majority of Spotify’s users utilise the free content, and through this it has grabbed more than an 85% market share of streaming services worldwide.
On the other hand, Apple benefits from having an absolute strange-hold on global music downloads – selling an estimated 80% to 85% of paid downloads. As a result, they also possess a massive catalogue of customers, and even more crucially – their bank details. Apple will be hoping that with one little push, iTunes customers will ferry across to streaming. Plus, the name Apple comes with a lot of clout.
Interestingly, last year the average iTunes customer spend little more than $30 over the entire year. Even if Apple wants to offer a deal of $100 per year, that’s still a lot more than customers have been paying in the past – especially with free options like Spotify available.
It isn’t clear yet whether Apple will stick with Beats Music, or launch an entirely new name with the service. Apple also plans to unveil a radio DJ service much like what is available on iTunes currently, except with human DJs.
For now, it remains speculation – but prepare yourselves for the battle of the giants of the music industry. iTunes has redefined the industry before, and even though they have turned up very late to the party this time around, don’t be surprised if they redefine it once again.