In an announcement that is literally music to Apple fans’ ears, an Apple executive says the debut of the new Apple Music streaming service Tuesday will be accompanied by the launch of iOS 8.4 and the Beats 1 radio station.
The new 24-hour radio station and latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system will go live Tuesday morning, according a blog post penned by Ian Rogers, former CEO for Beats and a current senior director for Apple Music. Rogers indicated in his post that iOS 8.4 would go live at 8 a.m. PT, a little earlier than its usual 10 a.m. release time, with the launch of Beats 1 following an hour later, according to 9to5Mac, but that time reference no longer appears in his blog.
Apple representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Apple plans to launch its much-anticipated foray into the growing music-streaming business with Apple Music, its $10-a-month subscription service. With its offering, Apple will compete with Spotify, Rdio and Rhapsody in offering tens of millions of songs played on demand as well as song collections tailored to listeners’ personal tastes.
The service is Apple’s effort to grab a larger piece of the online music market, a sector that is undergoing a dramatic evolution. Revenue from global digital music grew 6.9 percent to $6.85 billion last year, with revenue from subscription services increasing 39 percent to $1.57 billion, according to International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, a global trade group for the music business.
While downloads still account for more than half of global digital music sales (52 percent), download sales fell 8 percent in 2014, the IFPI reported. Sales of physical albums also declined 8 percent last year.
Apple is also working to get the music service integrated with Sonos music streaming speaker systems “ASAP, but not at launch,” according to another tweet by Rogers. Apple confirmed in a statement to Buzzfeed that it was working with Sonos to have the service on Sonos “before the end of the year.”
In response to queries posted on Twitter, Eddy Cue, head of iTunes, Apple Pay and Apple’s other Internet software and services businesses, confirmed that a new seed of iOS 9 would support Apple Music. He also said Apple plans to increase the track limit on iTunes Match from 25,000 songs to 100,000 with the launch of iOS 9.
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