Apple Music, global tech giant Apple’s long-awaited answer to the fast-changing digital music landscape, was launched internationally on Tuesday 30 June. It is Apple’s most ambitious music project since the original iTunes Store launched in 2003.
Unlike iTunes, however, Apple Music won’t be selling users individual songs or albums. Instead, customers will pay a monthly subscription fee for access to a library tens of millions of songs. It’s a sign of Apple’s confidence in the steaming model (an alternative to downloads), which is growing in popularity worldwide thanks to similar offerings by competitors such as Spotify and Deezer.
Apple first announced its music streaming service at its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Franciso, USA earlier this month, along with a social service called Connect and a 24-hour online radio station called Beats 1.
In Africa, Apple Music will initially only be available in South Africa following its launch in over 100 countries around the world on 30 June. Looking ahead to the future, music lovers in Zimbabwe, Angola and Kenya will reportedly gain access to Apple Music soon.
In the US, Apple Music will cost $9.99 per month for a single membership, or $14.99 per month for a family membership which includes access for up to six people. According to a recent article by My Broadband, in South Africa the individual subscription looks set to cost R59.99 (about US$5) per month, while the family package will cost R89.99 (about US$7.30) per month. Apple will reportedly offer a free trial of the service for the first three months after you sign up.
Android support for Apple Music will reportedly come between September and November 2015.
What influence will Apple Music have on the music industry in Africa? All one can do right now is wait and see just how Africa's music lovers react to it. For more details visit the Apple Music website.