According to the Financial Times, Apple will bundle the subscription music service it acquired from Beats into its iOS operating system early next year, instantly making it available on hundreds of millions of iPhones and iPads – and ramping up pressure on Spotify, the market leader in music streaming.
The inclusion of the paid-for Beats service in an iOS software update could happen as early as March, according to people familiar with the situation. The move represents Apple's first attempt to capitalise on Beats since it bought the headphone maker and streaming service from Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine for $3bn this year.
Apple will bundle the subscription music service it acquired from Beats into its iOS operating system early next year, instantly making it available on hundreds of millions of iPhones and iPads – and ramping up pressure on Spotify, the market leader in music streaming.
Pre-installing apps on devices is seen as a fast track to reaching new customers. Apple could also take advantage of its new mobile payments service to enable customers to subscribe with just one touch of the iPhone's fingerprint reader.
Apple's revamped Beats service will operate on a paid subscription model. The Financial Times believes that the Beats Music brand may likely be rebranded under the iTunes label but that's just conjecture at this point in time.
The report seems to suggest that Apple is preparing an all-out war with Spotify. They note that Spotify has also struck deals to bundle its app with handset makers such as HTC and telecoms operators including Vodafone and Sprint. But none can match the scale of Apple's customer base. Apple stated in June that it had sold more than 800m iPhones, iPads and iPod touches to date.
Nonetheless, bundling does not guarantee success. Apple's iTunes Radio, which came pre-installed with iOS 7, has not been widely seen as successful in challenging Pandora's dominance of internet radio in the US.
That's why it'll be interesting to see how or if Apple rebrands their new music service in 2015. Remember, it's Beats Music that's known for being the music service with heart. It's that human curation that Apple's CEO Tim Cook said he was blown away by.
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