Apple Transitions into Streaming Music, Re-launches Beats Music Service

by Matt Klassen on June 3, 2015

While Apple’s iTunes music platform may have launched the company into the stratosphere of online music, recently digital music sales have been on the decline as customers look towards other, more budget friendly, streaming options. It’s companies like Spotify that today are increasingly capturing the hearts and minds of the music loving public, and if you know anything about Apple, you’ll know it’s none to happy about that.

So for the second time in a decade Apple is betting on the fact that it can revolutionize how you pay for and consume music, moving away from downloading digital titles to a subscription-based streaming service model.

It’s the reason that a year ago Apple purchased rival streaming music service Beats Music, and while Apple is clearly late to the streaming music game, the company now stands on the cusp of a re-launch for the Beats platform, one that Apple is hoping will help move streaming music out of the periphery of early adopters and firmly into the main stream.

Apple has long resisted the urge to adopt a subscription-based music model, the company enjoying the wave it created after launching iTunes in response to the torrent of illegal file sharing and other music distribution problems. It was a revolution in how we listened to and purchased music, and Apple wasn’t about to give up a sure thing.

But over the last few years the rising popularity of streaming options, coupled with the continued decline of download sales, have made the streaming market simply too lucrative for the company to ignore, once again spelling a paradigm shift in how the vast majority of people interact with the music they love.

Now Apple’s embrace of streaming music isn’t necessarily an indication that its classic pay-to-own music model of iTunes is in jeopardy, just that actually buying specific titles will likely now occupy a second tier of music consumption, with most people’s first experience of listening to songs now coming through its Beats Music service.

While the re-launch of Beats may look considerably different from the Beats of old, Apple has maintained the company’s original pricing model, offering the streaming music service for $10/month, in line with other competitors. Unlike Spotify, however, Apple will not offer any of its on-demand content for free, so users won’t really have any option to sample or try the service before committing to it. There was some speculation that Apple would attempt to undercut the streaming industry, but it seems the music industry was unwilling to negotiate better terms (for now at least).

One thing is for sure though, with the launch of Beats as an Apple branded streaming music service, the world will likely once again undergo a significant change in its interaction with music, with more and more people now likely willing to pay for a streaming option, particularly for their mobile devices, instead of actually downloading and owning the songs themselves.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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