Bite This: The Rise of Apple Music
Back in the summer of 2015, rumors circulated of Apple creating its own music streaming service. When Apple bought Beats from Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, it was rumored that such a service would be a part of the deal. Then on June 30, 2015 Apple launched “Apple Music,” a 24-hour music streaming service helmed by the Beats 1 Radio with three main DJs that spanned globally—Ebro from Hot 97 in New York, Zane Lowe in Los Angeles, and Julie Adenuga in London.
In addition to the main Beats 1 Radio hosts, there are a slew of big name artists with their own shows on the radio—the band HAIM, Drake with OVOSOUND Radio, Run the Jewels with WRTJ, Elton John’s Rocket Hour, and Pharrell’s OTHERtone. Each station offers a distinct sound with curated playlists, special guests, and exclusive content. The release of exclusive content on the stations has proven successful for Apple with the highly anticipated (and super hyped) Drake & Future collab project What A Time To Be Alive on OVOSOUND, James Blake releasing a new song (“Modern Soul”) and Pharrell playing unreleased music from N.E.R.D. It created a gravitas of sorts for Apple music and its role as a serious contender in the music streaming service, but with newfound respect comes a price (literally).
To incentivize new customers, Apple offers the first three months of the subscription free of charge, which for a broke college kid is a damn good deal. 90 days of free music listening with exclusive content to add, AND your bank account isn’t touched?! #WINNING. But the party must end at some point. For $9.99 a month, there’s an individual plan or if you want to spread it evenly, there’s a family deal where six people can sign up for $14.99 a month (so gather your friends).
In comparison to the other streaming services, such as Spotify, the $10 a month is pretty steep, especially on a college kid’s “budget.” While Apple and Tidal both charge $9.99 a month, Spotify does have the slight edge in pricing because of its Student Pricing at $4.99 a month. Personally, I’m still a fan of Apple Music (and I’m already paying for it) because of Beats 1 Radio and its DJs, and the variety of stations that are offered at different times of the day. Plus, the ability to hear exclusive content on the different stations is a bonus. True, it would be great if Apple could start student pricing like Spotify, but so far it’s been well worth the extra money.