Apple Music, a new streaming service by the technology giant, launches today (Tuesday, June 30).
iOS 8.4 upgrades began at 10:00 a.m. CT. Desktop computers will need to upgrade to the newest version of iTunes. A full version is expected for Android this fall.
A free trial is available for three months, before automatic charges of $9.99/mo. apply for individuals. A family account, available for up to six people, will cost $14.99/mo.
The service debuts after much scrutiny about its royalty payments—most publicized was the Taylor Swift tussle resulting in the pop star’s music being added to the Cupertino, Calif.-based service.
In an interview with BuzzFeed after the Swift ordeal, Apple Senior Vice President Eddy Cue said the royalty rate… “will pay artists on a per stream basis during the free three-month trial. Afterwards, it will pay music owners 71.5 percent of Apple Music’s subscription revenue in the United States. Internationally, the number will fluctuate, but will average out at around 73 percent.”
Features of the subscription streaming service will allow people to freely upload and stream audio, will also offer a global radio station (Beats 1) to kick off at 11:00 p.m. CT, and Siri integration to kickstart listening to “hot songs from 1994” (as an example). The software can scan existing music libraries to add up to 25,000 matches to an iCloud Music Library, providing access on any device where the user is logged in. Offline listening is also key for subway rides or data plan conservation. The app will then let you see what songs have been locally stored.
Officials in Europe and the United States are investigating dealings with music labels for antitrust violations.
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