Apple is planning to lure in customers to its Beats Music streaming service with free trials


tim cook

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at the WSJD Live conference in Laguna Beach, California October 27, 2014.

Apple is going to let people use its new music streaming service for free - for a few months, at least.


The company is expected to relaunch Beats Music as a paid-only streaming service, without the free, ad-supported option offered by the likes of Spotify and Pandora. But Re/code reports that Apple is going to offer users one to three months to trial the platform after its launch, hoping they'll be lured into paying for a full subscription.

The length of the trial will be decided in ongoing talks between Apple and the music labels and artists it hopes to bring on board.

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Re/code suggests that music owners will also have the option to upload sample songs that users can listen to without a subscription.

Much of the music industry has fallen out of love with free streaming, with artists like Taylor Swift pulling their entire collection from Spotify. While Spotify and Pandora still pay royalties and licensing fees whether listeners pay a subscription or not, not as many users are upgrading to paid tiers as record labels would like.


Apple doesn't have to do much to convince labels that more subscriptions mean better money, for artists, labels, and streaming services alike. But with the launch of Beats the music streaming market is going to become even more crowded. Jay-Z has already accused rivals trying to sabotage the chances of his own recently-launched music streaming service Tidal.

Small wonder that Apple wants to offer a few, very limited options for free as it tries to hook users.

The report added that Apple is expected to launch a new version of iTunes Radio, which will have stations programmed by human beings - like former Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe, who joined Apple from the BBC last month - rather than computers.

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