Apple Music – The Future Of Music Consumption?

Apple made a surprise announcement at their WWDC keynote earlier this month that they will be launching Apple Music, a new streaming service that will be available to all Apple users.

Rapper Drake, who introduced the launch at Apple’s San Francisco conference, claimed: “This is something that simplifies everything for the modern musician like myself, and the modern consumer like you.

Apple plans to integrate all of these functions into one place, providing a service that allows you to stream music, video and keep up to date with your favourite artists. The service will allow users to access the millions of songs from Atheir ever expanding catalogue and includes specially curated playlists from in-house editors.

The service also includes a 24 hour radio station titled Beats 1, which is set to broadcast around the clock from London, New York and Los Angeles.

Apple Music is set to launch later this month, initially on iOS Mac and Windows and will launch across 100 countries. The service will be moving to Android this Autumn and its price in the UK is yet to be confirmed, with membership starting at $9.99 in the US and $14.99 for a family plan.

Earlier this year Nielson Soundcan revealed that total streams were up from 106 billion in 2013 to 164 billion in 2014. Statistics also revealed that physical and digital copies were down by 11 percent in 2014 to 257 million. It is clear that streaming is becoming increasingly popular and with the launch of Apple Music on the horizon, could become the main way for us to consume music, but is this a change to be feared?

There are strong arguments for and against streaming and it appears there is a wide divide in opinion between artists and consumers. One pro is that streaming doesn’t take up any hardrive space; it’s accessed via the web and doesn’t depend on playing files from your computer. Streaming is also significantly cheaper than purchasing every album you want to listen to, with packages on Spotify starting at just £9.99 a month, the standard cost of a new physical CD.

Many musicians have spoken out about how streaming services have left them ‘short-changed’. In an interview with Digital Music News in 2013, Beck said:“Streaming is inevitable, it’s something that is coming, like it or not. But I question how I can hang on or stay afloat with this model, because what Spotify pays me isn’t enough for me to pay the musicians I work with, or the people producing or mastering my music”.

Do you think Apple Music is set to dominate the market? And is streaming the way in which we should all engage with music?

Let us know your thoughts below or @exposedmagsheff

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