How Apple's new music service stacks up to the competition
On Monday, Apple finally unveiled its long-awaited new streaming music service, marking its entrance into an already crowded and competitive field.
Here's how it stacks up against the established popular music services:
What is Apple Music? We're still learning ourselves! From what Apple said on Monday, the service is a combination internet radio and on-demand streaming music service. It launches on June 30.
There's Beats 1, the live radio station curated by several DJs around the world. It's available for anyone, even if you don't pay for Apple's new service. There are also radio stations that you help build and curate yourself, like Pandora: enter an artist, song, or album, and a station is built based on that preference. Apple has humans curating the songs for each station. It doesn't rely on algorithms like competing services.
Finally, Apple added a feature called Connect that lets artists upload videos, photos, lyrics, or whatever else they want for fans to consume. It's reminiscent of Apple's defunct Ping social network that used to be part of iTunes.
Paying users get access to on-demand music and are able to play nearly any song at any time. They can also save music to their devices for offline listening.
$9.99 per month for access to ad-free, on-demand music, after a free three-month trial. $14.99 for a six-person family membership.
"Tens of millions," Apple says. It'll be close to what you can already purchase in iTunes with some exceptions.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY:
$9.99 per month after a three-month trial for $0.99. A free version of the service plays artists, albums, and playlists in shuffle mode and has ads. The service is available in dozens of countries in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Latin America and Australia and New Zealand.
"Over 30 million" songs, Spotify says.
PRICE AND AVAILIBILITY:
Free, and includes advertisements, though people can also pay $4.99 per month or $54.89 per year to subscribe to Pandora One, an ad-free version of the service. It's only available to listeners in the US, Australia, and New Zealand, and has 79 million monthly listeners.
About 2 million tracks from more than 150,000 artists
Best known as "Jay Z's streaming music service," Tidal is yet another competitor in the quickly crowding streaming music market. Think of it more like Spotify than Pandora: you choose what you want to listen to, when you want to listen to it, on-demand. What separates Tidal from the competition, according to Tidal, is a higher-quality music streaming option that costs double the monthly subscription fee. Like Spotify recently launched, the service also has a video section.
PRICING AND AVAILABILITY:
$9.99 per month, with an option to pay $19.99 per month for high-quality "lossless" audio. Available in 40 countries.
"Over 30 million tracks," and several high-profile artists pledged exclusive music to the service recently. Jay Z started removing his own albums from Spotify, starting with his debut, "Reasonable Doubt." That album is now available exclusively through Tidal.
Google Play Music
PRICING AND AVAILIBILITY:
$9.99 per month after a free 30-day trial. It's available in 58 countries.
"More than 30 million songs."
Free, but you'll listen to commercials.
iHeartRadio sits somewhere between Pandora and Spotify: the company says it has "over 20 million songs and 450,000 artists." Unlike most of the other services, the service can only be accessed in three countries: the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.
Services like Rdio, Rhapsody, and Deezer are all very similar to Spotify and Apple Music. They each have their own benefits and drawbacks, but still cost the same per month.
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