Apple reportedly pushing to get Beats Music prices down to $5 per month

iPhone 6 Beats Music

A new report by Re/code gives some extra details about Apple’s future plans for its streaming service, Beats Music. A few weeks ago Apple was reportedly looking to push prices down, although specifics were not known at the time.

Today, Re/code says that Apple wants to cut prices in half, from $10 a month to $5 a month. This would be part of a relaunch of the Beats Music service — exactly what a ‘relaunch’ entails is not yet known. It is possible that Apple will disassociate the Beats brand from its streaming service.

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Apple Stores expected to provide after-sales service for Beats headphones and speakers soon

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Greek site Techingreek.com is reporting that Apple Service Providers will be providing after-sales service for Beats headphones and speakers within the country, suggesting that Apple itself may be doing the same in countries with Apple retail stores.

The site says that the above message was sent to Apple Service Providers in Greece, stating that they will provide service for Beats Electronics products “in the near future” …  Read more

Designers mock up Apple Watch versions of popular iOS applications

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Facebook Messenger

Thinkapps’ Build Blog has published a few designer mockups showing what popular third-party applications might look like on Apple’s new smartwatch with some interesting results. The apps were created by several different designers, and you can see that each app maintains some of the branding and design you’d expect while conforming to the smaller wearable UI and its new input devices like the Digital Crown.

Above you’ll find the design for Facebook Messenger, which features a contact view made up of circular contact photos with online indicators that closely resembles the watch’s home screen. The message view sports a single reply button that presumably uses the device’s built-in dictation capability to compose a response.

Below you’ll find designs for apps like Beats Music, Skype, Uber, YouTube, and more. Keep in mind that these designs are hardly official, but represent the types of user interfaces you might see when the folks in Cupertino release the Apple Watch early next year.

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Looking to revamp Beats Music at a lower rate, Apple asks music labels to cut streaming prices

Beats on Apple TV

Last month Apple was rumored to be looking for a way to shut down the current version of the Beats Music streaming service that it acquired as part of the Beats Electronics deal, though the claim of a shutdown was quickly shot down in favor of an upcoming rebranding effort.

Today Re/code has revealed a bit more about Apple’s plans for the new service, which is expected to be revealed in February, according to some reports. According to Re/code, Apple wants to cut the price of the streaming service below the current $10 mark, and it’s asking music companies to cut a special deal on licensing rights to accomplish that.

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Apple and U2 reportedly working on ‘secret project’ to bolster music sales

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According to TIME, U2’s partnership with Apple goes far beyond a free album in your iTunes library, much to the chagrin of some users. The group is reportedly working with Apple on a ‘secret project’ to rejuvenate digital music scales.

Details, however, are thin on the ground. Bono is quoted as saying he is developing a new music format that will somehow inspire consumers to buy complete albums once more. Without more information, it’s impossible to tell whether this is a silly pipe dream or an actual possibility. In the age of streaming music, the sales potential for individually bought songs is waning.

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Apple TV updated w/ Beats Music channel, refreshed design, Family Sharing, & iCloud Photos

Beats on Apple TV

In addition to shipping iOS 8 to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users today, Apple has released a software update to Apple TV (third-generation) users as well. As we previewed before, the new version of Apple TV’s software brings a refreshed design with thinner text and flatter icons bringing it more in line with iOS’s look and feel. The update also includes a newly added Beats Music channel for the subscription streaming music service Apple purchased earlier this year.

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Rdio preps revamped music streaming app with a focus on free stations

The Rdio music streaming service is preparing to release an updated version of its mobile app later today will place a new focus on its free “stations” feature as competitors like Spotify, Pandora, and Apple’s one-two punch of iTunes Radio and Beats Music crank up the pressure on the service.

Rdio claims its free music library is as much as fifteen times bigger than those of competing apps. Like other online radio services, the new Rdio will automatically create playlists and stations from that library based on a user’s music preferences. Curated stations from musicians and other celebrities will also be available, much like in iTunes Radio.

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Apple promoting iTunes Festival contest within Beats Music in push for new users

Beats Music iTunes Festival

In addition to updating the iTunes Festival lineup with new acts including Ed Sheeran and deadmau5 and reviving the Apple TV channel for viewing the concert on-demand and live, Apple’s recently acquired Beats Music is now promoting the iTunes Festival with a contest to attend the music festival in London. While tickets to Apple’s annual music event are free for attendees (and very limited), the contest by Beats Music to attend the iTunes Festival covers airfare both to and from London.

The promotion of the iTunes Festival in London by Beats Music, which requires users to download and sign up for the Beats Music service, is the latest in series of moves by Apple to promote Beats since Beats Electronics and Beats Music officially joined Apple earlier this month.

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Apple pushing Beats Music app via email to iTunes customers

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Apple has begun pushing the Beats Music streaming service via email to iTunes customers. The emails promote the free-to-download Beats Music app’s “Just For You” and “Tune Your Taste” features and note that Beats is now “part of the Apple family.” Apple finalized its acquisition of both Beats Music and Beats Electronics at the beginning of this month, and Apple has already begun promoting Beats Electronics via a new section on the online store and notable discounts. This email push is the second Apple promotion of the streaming app as the company has already integrated the app into the App Store’s “Apps by Apple” category. Full email below:

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Apple prominently advertising Beats Music to new iOS device users

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Apple has prominently featured its own suite of free apps when iOS users first open the App Store, such as its iLife and iWork apps, for a while. Now that Beats Music and Beats Electronics are officially part of the family, the Beats Music app is now appearing on this ‘Apple Apps’ list as well. Beats Music is currently the last entry in the list, described as a way to ‘listen to music that’s always right for you’.

Tapping ‘Download All’ will install Beats Music alongside Apple’s other apps. Naturally, one way for Apple to significantly increase adoption of the service is to advertise it to every new iOS user.

The view will show up for new iOS devices or by performing a clean restore to a version of iOS 7, on both iPhone and iPad.

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