Apple Music to get more intuitive UI, expanded Beats 1 radio, 'marketing blitz' at WWDC

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
A year after its debut, Apple's $10-per-month music streaming service is reportedly set for a major overhaul at the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference, including a shakeup to its user interface aimed at making it easier to use.




Citing sources familiar with the company's plans, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that Apple plans better integration between Apple Music and iTunes, and also plans to expand its Beats 1 radio service. In addition, Apple is also said to be planning a major ad campaign to promote the changes.

The new look for Apple Music is said to have been overseen by Apple's Robert Kondrk and Trent Reznor, while chief designer Jony Ive, services head Eddy Cue, and Beats executive Jimmy Iovine have also reportedly provided input.

Since the launch of Apple Music, Apple's iTunes business has remained steady and profitable, earning about $3.5 billion -- about three times more than the streaming business has earned, sources indicated to Bloomberg. As a result, Apple has been reluctant to push Apple Music to legacy iTunes customers.

Apple's Beats 1 streaming radio station was a major part of the launch of Apple Music last year. Trademark filings by Apple in late 2015 revealed that the company is working on more streaming stations, numbered Beats 2 through Beats 5.




Apple has also promoted its streaming service with exclusive tracks from artists like Drake, in an effort to woo customers away from competing services like Spotify. Apple Music also launched with a free three-month trial period.

Apple's services business saw massive 60 percent increase in 2015, thanks in part to the debut of Apple Music, and the company has pushed its growing services business to investors. The strong performance has helped to offset declines in other products, including the first-ever year-over-year decline in iPhone sales.

Last week, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook revealed that Apple Music has 13 million paid subscribers. That was up from 11 million subscribers two months prior.

Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference kicks off on June 13. In addition to a revamp for Apple Music, the next-generation versions of iOS, OS X, tvOS and watchOS are also expected to be announced.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 563member
    the should just fix the basics:
    - leave downloaded songs on my device instead of randomly deleting them so I have to download them again
    - allow me to actually listen to my downloaded songs when I am outside of WiFi, that is the purpose after all, of downloading them
    - let 100% of my music be available through the iCloud
    - do away with the "xxxx cannot be downloaded at this time"..



    mobiuspscooter63Rayz2016bdkennedy1002nathanimalSpamSandwichlord amhran
  • Reply 2 of 28
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,081member
    To me, this seems like an odd event to announce Apple Music improvements. I guess the days of focusing on iOS, Mac OS, WatchOS, tvOS are gone. I guess Apple Music is software too, but its not like developers can tap into it or something to my knowledge. 
    edited May 2016 mr o
  • Reply 3 of 28
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 2,600member
    macxpress said:
    To me, this seems like an odd event to announce Apple Music improvements. I guess the days of focusing on iOS, Mac OS, WatchOS, tvOS are gone. I guess Apple Music is software too, but its not like developers can tap into it or something to my knowledge. 
    There is an API for it now. And what a ridiculous comment. Why do people assume when they hear about one thing that Apple isn't doing anything else? It's a large company with lots of employees. The company can focus on more than one thing at a time. Sheesh.
    jbdragoncali
  • Reply 4 of 28
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 2,600member
    Reading this report it makes me wonder who was responsible for the first app? Kind of sounds like it was Beats employees that might no longer be with the company. Honestly I think Apple needs to write off this acquisition and send Jimmy and Dre on their way. Keep Trent Reznor if he's actually useful. I have yet to read anything that indicates Iovine is an asset to the company. Kind of sad to see that Eddy Cue got suckered in by this clown.
    AI_lias
  • Reply 5 of 28
    thrangthrang Posts: 681member

    They HAVE to remove the idiotic requirement to use iCloud Music Library for all your music if you wish to download even one Apple Music song to listen to offline. This is crazy stupid.

    Because of this, I don't use Apple Music, though I'd like to. But I'm not uploading 10,000 songs only to stream them back to myself, which doesn't even work reliably depending wifi or cellular access, being in buildings, traveling, commuting, out of country, etc. And now I have to pay AT&T to steam my own music back to me? Leave local sync available even for iCloud Music Library downloads. If it's some licensing issue, fix it!

    While I'm at it, they also need to re-enable Photos LAN sharing. This is another feature they stupidly removed, and they now expect me to upload 20k photos so my family 20 feet away can look at photos on their computers?

    In either case, I'm not going to start manually managing what I want uploaded (Photos) or downloaded (Music).

    Apple needs to be very careful with moves like this, because it feels like a forced attempt to generate services revenue. Forcing can crack the golden egg, the benefit of the ecosystem.

    palomine
  • Reply 6 of 28
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,662member
    Apple Music needs a lower cost option. Where's the $4.99 price point. Just limit the hours or whatever and then I might sign up. I just don't listen to enough music to justify $10 a month for it these days. I've moved to a number of audio blogs and when I want to tune into a little music I just use Amazon Music which is FREE as part of my Prime Membership I'm already paying for. It's pretty good. It's a little Pandora and a little Spotify. I wish Pandora would learn a little something from Amazon. Unlimited skips forward and you can skip Back songs already played and play whatever one you want again. Pandora even as a paid user don't have unlimited Skips and you can't go back songs at all. While at the same time you can search for songs and create play lists, etc. The Song library is not as large. With T-Mobile, it's Unlimited free streaming Data, so I turn the quality up. From what I hear, Apple Music has needed a lot of work. So it's a good thing that Apple is working on it to make it better. But again, need a lower price point also which I just don't see happening. Beats1, I've tuned in a couple times for short periods of time, but I'm not a RAP person, and what I was hearing wasn't much of a interest to me. Beat1 is really Radio, and like Radio, you need need choices, which you get with Radio. So need a number of BEATS1, BEATS2, BEATS3, etc. Now it's turning more into Satellite Radio. A single company owning all the channels.
  • Reply 7 of 28
    mr omr o Posts: 1,043member
    Jony Ive stems me hopeful, Jimmy-All-In-One-Place-Iovine not so much.

    >:x
  • Reply 8 of 28
    peteopeteo Posts: 302member
    Reading this report it makes me wonder who was responsible for the first app? Kind of sounds like it was Beats employees that might no longer be with the company. Honestly I think Apple needs to write off this acquisition and send Jimmy and Dre on their way. Keep Trent Reznor if he's actually useful. I have yet to read anything that indicates Iovine is an asset to the company. Kind of sad to see that Eddy Cue got suckered in by this clown.
    Having used Beats Music for 2 years before apple bought them, I can say that is probably not true. The beats music app was very good. The interface, the features were all very good. I loved using it. That's why i was so excited when apple bought beats (I don't own beats hardware, I think its mostly junk) Its seems pretty obvious to me the exact opposite happened. That's apple people came in and F'ed the interface up so much that people wanted to leave. The interface is almost noting like the beats music interface and is very bizarre to me. I mean why the heck does the mini player disappear after not using the music app for an hour? I cant get back to the last song I played or what ever was on my playlist. I am excited for the apple music UI refresh. I love streaming music services because I love music and lets me find new and interesting bands with out saying, do I really want to buy the album? what if it sucks. That's all gone now. When I really like the album I usually go see the band because I love live music and want to support good music. I'm no spring chicken either!
    caliEric_WVGGHabi_tweet
  • Reply 9 of 28
    As long as TuneIn radio exists with thousands of free stations, I have no desire to pay $10 a month.
  • Reply 10 of 28
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,141member
    Wish they would put some of this energy into fixing the mess that is iTunes. What an unholy complicated mess of accretions. What ever happened to "The [fill-in the blank] for the rest of us"?
    singularity
  • Reply 11 of 28
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 492member
    Reading this report it makes me wonder who was responsible for the first app? Kind of sounds like it was Beats employees that might no longer be with the company. Honestly I think Apple needs to write off this acquisition and send Jimmy and Dre on their way. Keep Trent Reznor if he's actually useful. I have yet to read anything that indicates Iovine is an asset to the company. Kind of sad to see that Eddy Cue got suckered in by this clown.
    let this be the first then:
    http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-acquired-beats-just-so-that-it-could-hire-jimmy-iovine-2015-9?r=UK&IR=T
  • Reply 12 of 28
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,081member
    macxpress said:
    To me, this seems like an odd event to announce Apple Music improvements. I guess the days of focusing on iOS, Mac OS, WatchOS, tvOS are gone. I guess Apple Music is software too, but its not like developers can tap into it or something to my knowledge. 
    There is an API for it now. And what a ridiculous comment. Why do people assume when they hear about one thing that Apple isn't doing anything else? It's a large company with lots of employees. The company can focus on more than one thing at a time. Sheesh.
    While that is true, the keynote should NOT be focused on Apple Music...That is what I meant. That could be a separate event easily. The primary function of WWDC is for developers, not to announce some music thing. 
    edited May 2016
  • Reply 13 of 28
    sflagel said:
    - allow me to actually listen to my downloaded songs when I am outside of WiFi, that is the purpose after all, of downloading them
    You can. When I hike, I download a couple albums, put my phone in airplane mode and listen away. 
    lostkiwi
  • Reply 14 of 28
    macxpress said:
    To me, this seems like an odd event to announce Apple Music improvements. 

    It seems weird to me too. Wrong audience. And even weirder that people would get all bent out of shape about someone thinking its weird.

    The only thing I can think that justifies it is the non-developer attention WWDC gets so Apple talks about something consumer-related to not disappoint. 
  • Reply 15 of 28
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,261member
    9to5 has detailed what they expect regarding the Apple Music rework.
    http://goo.gl/hQl9eR
  • Reply 16 of 28
    nathanimalnathanimal Posts: 67member
    A new interface would be much appreciated. I had been a Spotify customer prior to Apple Music, and recently decided to check it out again after wanting to share some music with my bandmates, who are only on Spotify. The interface is so much easier to get around in than AM. AM's interface is cluttered and too hierarchical.

    But most importantly, the social features in Spotify are much more comprehensive, like being able to line up with friends from Facebook or Twitter, see what they're listening to, collaborate with them on shared playlists, etc. Curated playlists are great and all, but they are curated within strict artist/genre/decade lines, which I find boring. Shared music from my bandmates and other friends is more likely to resonate with me, since we know each others' tastes and sensibilities. Apple Music's social features consist of copying links to text message or social media apps. It's not right in the app. This is a glaring omission, in light of what the competition offers. 

    The only reason why I stick with Apple Music is because of Siri integration, and integration with my iTunes library and playlists, which have been in existence and refined for the last 12 years.
    lostkiwi
  • Reply 17 of 28
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 2,600member
    macxpress said:
    There is an API for it now. And what a ridiculous comment. Why do people assume when they hear about one thing that Apple isn't doing anything else? It's a large company with lots of employees. The company can focus on more than one thing at a time. Sheesh.
    While that is true, the keynote should NOT be focused on Apple Music...That is what I meant. That could be a separate event easily. The primary function of WWDC is for developers, not to announce some music thing. 
    Yes the primary function of WWDC is developers but the keynote is as much for the media and general public as it is for developers. That's why Apple also has the state of the union which follows the keynote. Now I don't think Apple should spend 40 minutes on it and have all these celebrities on stage. Basically DO NOT do what they did last year. But I think it's fine to give it a slot in the keynote, as it does have developer APIs.
    palomine
  • Reply 18 of 28
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 2,600member

    macxpress said:
    To me, this seems like an odd event to announce Apple Music improvements. 

    It seems weird to me too. Wrong audience. And even weirder that people would get all bent out of shape about someone thinking its weird.

    The only thing I can think that justifies it is the non-developer attention WWDC gets so Apple talks about something consumer-related to not disappoint. 
    This is exactly the case. The WWDC keynote audience is way more than developers. The state of the union keynote is more meaningful for developers as it goes into greater detail about upcoming software changes.
  • Reply 19 of 28
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 1,916member
    bdkennedy said:
    As long as TuneIn radio exists with thousands of free stations, I have no desire to pay $10 a month.
    Concur. I don't see the $120/yr value. YMMV.


  • Reply 20 of 28
    allmypeopleallmypeople Posts: 317member
    A year after its debut, Apple's $10-per-month music streaming service is reportedly set for a major overhaul at the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference, including a shakeup to its user interface aimed at making it easier to use.
    This is very welcome.

    I cancelled my Apple Music but set up my parents with it. They're usually "good" (not "great") with interfaces. 

    Only when I introduced it to them did it become clear how tricky it is to use. On the iPad there's a ton of wasted space and the icons are far too small without the ability to change it.
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