Apple Music Overview Updated June 1, 2020

Apple Music

Apple's streaming music service

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783 'Apple Music' stories

April 2015 - June 2020


Apple Music is Apple’s streaming service that was first introduced at WWDC in 2015. The service launched that same summer and positioned Apple as a direct competitor to services like Spotify, Amazon Music, and Google Play Music. It allows users to access 50 million tracks instantly. Music can be downloaded for offline listening, as well as streamed from the cloud. The service also includes iCloud Music library which allows you to upload content purchased/ripped and make it available on all of your devices.

Apple Music Devices

The service is accessible via the built-in iOS Music app,  Apple Music on the Mac, iTunes on a PC, Apple TV, and on Apple Watch. It’s also available on Android, Amazon Echo devices, Sonos, and Amazon Fire TV. In September of 2019, Apple also launched a beta version of a web app.

Alongside the streaming music service, Apple introduced an always-on streaming radio service called Beats 1. Spearheaded by Zane Lowe, Beats 1 features a wide array of shows, many of which are hosted by celebrities such as DJ Khaled, Elton John, and Pharrell. Beats 1 doesn’t require an Apple Music subscription and is accessible to everyone via iTunes and the Music app for macOS.

Apple Music Pricing

The service is $9.99 per month for one user, while a family plan is also available for $14.99. Students also get a steep discount, with a student tier offering the service for just $4.99.

If you are considering switching from Spotify, be sure to read our comparison article.

Apple Music Features

Some of the key features for Apple Music includes iCloud Music library, For You, Personalized Playlists, and Replay.

iCloud Music Library lets you add music to Apple Music on the Mac and then it will add it to your library across all your devices. This feature is useful if you have a lot of live albums that aren’t available for any streaming service. iCloud Music Library is also handy when a record isn’t available to stream, but is to purchase. An example of when this is useful is when a Taylor Swift’s Reputation album was released in 2017. It didn’t appear on Apple Music or Spotify for three weeks. If you wanted to buy it as an Apple Music subscriber, you could just purchase it on iTunes and then it would be automatically added to your Apple Music library. If were a Spotify user, there is no way to do this. You can still buy it, but it would be inside the Music app on your iPhone vs being inside of Spotify (where the rest of your library is).

The For You functionality is aimed at helping you discover what you will want to listen to based on the time of day and what your friends are listening to/ The Personalized Playlists include a “New Music Mix”, “Friends Mix”, “Favorites Mix, and “Chill Mix”. All of these are updated weekly.

In November of 2019, Apple debuted a new feature called Replay.

Replay feature provides users a playlist of their most listened to songs from 2019, as well as prior years dating all the way back to 2015.

You can also see interesting insights into your most popular artists, albums, and more. For the Apple Music Replay playlists, you can share them with others just like a normal playlist and download them for offline listening.

What differentiates Replay from Spotify Wrapped, however, is that Replay will be continuously updated and can be accessed year-round. Spotify Wrapped is specifically for year-in-review purposes, but Replay will be continuously updated as you listen to Apple Music throughout the year.

For instance, in January of 2020, you’ll already be able to see your Replay 2020 playlist – but it will be blank and ready for you to start filling up. The playlist will update on a weekly basis throughout the year, giving you a live look at your listening trends.

 

Apple Music Stories June 1

Apple Music is joining in a music industry wide ‘Black Out Tuesday’ campaign, to raise awareness for Black Lives Matter in the wake of Minneapolis resident George Floyd being killed whilst under police arrest. Apple CEO Tim Cook previously tweeted his support of the protests happening across the US and around the world.

Apple Music has canceled its usual Beats 1 radio schedule and is instead directing all iOS and macOS users to a single streaming station that celebrates the best in black music.

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Apple Music Stories May 29

Apple Music’s Zane Lowe has debuted a new podcast that will be home to his interviews with popular artists. The latest episode is with Lady Gaga as she’s about to launch her new album Chromatica. Even though the podcast just launched, it also features interviews from previous guests he’s had on Beats 1.

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Apple Music Stories May 19

If there’s one thing missing from digital music services like Apple Music, it’s the ability to quickly learn more about a song or album without leaving the Music app. With physical media, these sort of details were relatively easy to find via liner notes and cover booklets, but the information has never been integrated well into the Apple Music service.

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Apple Music Stories April 30

NSYNC celebrates viral ‘It’s Gonna Be May’ meme by changing title on Apple Music

Going back almost a decade, NSYNC’s song “It’s Gonna Be Me” turned into a viral meme that comes back each spring. The group’s lead singer, Justin Timberlake’s pronunciation sounds like “It’s Gonna Be May” and the riffs on the joke have continued to flow over the years. Now NSYNC has updated the official title on Apple Music and Spotify to celebrate the meme.

Apple Music Stories April 29

Spotify paid subscribers hit 130M in the first quarter of the year, up 31% year-on-year. Revenue was up 22%, with both metrics beating analyst expectations. This is more than double the last reported Apple Music subscriber number of 60M, though that was way back in June of last year.

It had been unclear what impact the coronavirus might have on demand for streaming music services like Spotify and Apple Music …

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Apple Music Stories April 23

Samsung has announced that beginning today, a new Apple Music app is now available for its smart TVs. The app can be downloaded on all Samsung smart TVs from 2018 through 2020.

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