Apple is now aiming for a revamp of its Beats Music streaming service, which will see the offering tied in more closely to both iTunes and other Apple products and services, to happen in June
-- right around the time of the expected Worldwide Developers Conference, which is likely to happen
on June 8–12, according to sources familiar with current plans. In addition to retaining the personalization and hand-curated recommendation features, Apple may be planning to lower the monthly cost.
The company was said to be negotiating with record labels for a lower royalty
so as to offer a reduced monthly rate to revitalize the service. Apple is said to be aiming for $8 per month for the subscription service rather than the $10 per month that is the industry standard among it streaming competitors. The Beats branding will likely be cast aside in favor of iTunes branding, and it is unclear how the subscription service will sit next to the company's existing iTunes Radio
, which is a free but ad-supported service (or ad-free for iTunes Match subscribers, which costs $25 per year).
The service will apparently continue life as an app for iOS, and may also continue to be offered as an Android app -- the only one the iPhone maker supports. Apple may opt to offer additional features or perks, such as a introductory free period, to purchasers of Apple devices as an inducement to get Android users to consider switching platforms. In addition, Apple employee Jimmy Iovine and SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue have reportedly been working
on securing more exclusive deals, album debuts and other celebrity partnerships to make the service more attractive. Cook, Cue and Iovine met with a large group of music industry executives during the Grammy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles recently as well.
Beats Music, while widely regarded as a high-quality service, has failed to make a significant dent against rivals in the competitive streaming-subscription music space. Spotify, Rdio, and other ad-supported offerings such as Apple's own iTunes Radio, ClearChannel's IHeartRadio, or TuneIn and others all attract more listeners. If Apple could persuade artists who have resisted streaming services or artists generally that they will make money from the service, the company has the assets and talent to push the service into the big leagues.