As was expected, tech juggernaut Apple unveiled the much-anticipated Apple Music this morning, an all-encompassing offering that combines a streaming service, a 24-hour live radio station given the name Beats 1 and a social component that provides artists with a new way to further link with fans, aptly titled Connect.
One of the biggest takeaways from the presentation? Drake will be releasing his next album on Apple Music through Connect. Aubrey took the stage during the keynote to explain the features of Connect, including the ability for artists to share additional content with fans, such as lyrics, photos, remixes, etc. As opposed to maintaining siloed social network presences, the artist can choose to offer everything in one centralized location and, as Drake remarked, "The dream of being a new artist like myself five years ago and connecting directly with an audience has never been more close and reachable." As with virtually every social media service nowadays, fans then have the ability to reach out directly and interact with the artist. As for the album, which we assume but can't confirm refers to Views From the 6, no additional details were yet revealed other than the fact that it will be released via Connect.
As a whole, Apple Music will immediately contend with established and up-and-coming services such as Spotify and Tidal upon its June 30 release date. Pricing will be competitive, with subscriptions offered at $9.99/month for an individual and $14.99/month for a family plan (serving up to six family members). For those not yet sold, a 3-month trial membership will be available at no cost. Apple Music will combine its new streaming offering with the iTunes store and software already used by millions, and will be firmly integrated with existing hardware from the company. That means you can finally ask Siri to "play the best Makonnen song" or whatever other ironic suggestions you may have. Apple Music Radio provides even more incentive to use the service, combining the new worldwide and live Beats 1 station with programming curated from real-life humans including DJs like Zane Lowe, Ebro Darden and Drake himself.
Is it enough? Will you be giving Apple Music a try? If you currently use Spotify or Tidal, are these offerings enough to spark a switch? How will Apple Music and Connect affect Drake's new album? Right now we have more questions than answers.
Check out the full press release from Apple via BusinessWire.
[By Brendan Varan. He just wants to know when Drake's album is dropping. Follow him on Twitter.]