After announcing updates to OS X, iOS 9, and the Apple Watch's operating system, Apple had "one more thing" to show off Monday during its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC): Apple Music. The product of its recent Beats acquisition, the three part service includes a music service, a new 24/7 radio station, and a new way for musical artists to connect with fans.
Apple Music has a section called "My Music" that lets you listen to your own jams, as well as stream any music from iTunes. Playlists display both the song that’s playing and the next song in the list, so you know what’s coming. Playlists within Music can be customized on the fly, by dragging and dropping songs within the playlist to a new position.
A “recommend” button suggests playlists and albums Apple thinks you’re going to like. Recommendations are made by real people rather than an algorithm, as are Apple Music's playlists. Recommendations are based in part by your answers to some initial questions the app asks you about your music genre and artist preferences (familiar to anyone who used Beats Music).
Apple Music will also have a 24/7 radio station, with real DJs broadcasting from three cities (New York, LA, and London). Just like on a traditional radio station, the DJs will play new music and interview artists on-air. In that way, Apple Music is a bit like a Spotify/SiriusXM hybrid (minus the satellite part).
Artists – whether established, new or unsigned – can also connect with fans using the service. Apple Music lets artists share things like song lyrics, photos or videos directly with fans.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is that Apple Music won't be an iOS and OS X exclusive. This (Northern) Fall, the service will launch on Android – perhaps a modern-day nod to the surge of success that the iPod and iTunes Store experienced after launching on Windows.
Apple Music will be launching on iOS, Mac and PC on June 30th in over 100 countries. It will cost $9.99 US per month, with the first three months of the service being free. Families of up to six people can also get a discounted plan for $14.99 per month.