It’s been a year since Apple shelled out US$3 billion to acquire Beats Electronics and Beats Music (online streaming service for music). Since then, both market watchers and consumers have been waiting with bated breath to see the outcome of this mega deal. Now, just over a year following the partnership, an announcement looks imminent with Apple set to host its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), an annual event that attracts developers from across the world.
Typically, the company’s latest developments and programs are presented by the top bosses of Apple. It is expected that this, Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive and Craig Federighi, the company’s VP of software engineering, will present the keynote address. With a few days still to go for the conference, the details concerning Apple’s latest software, services and features are still under wraps. But the one rumor about the mega event that has doggedly persisted is that Apple is about to launch a new music streaming service that’s earned the moniker of ‘Spotify killer’.
If the announcement about the new service does come through, Apple will be making the big transition from being a digital download leader to a complete digital music major. Tech experts are already labeling this imminent milestone as the biggest ever move since the 2003 launch of the iTunes store.
The speculation and rumors, if they carry any truth, will certainly show Apple’s mastery over strategic timing. 2014 saw the sales of digital revenues come at par with physical format sales, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) said. Companies offering music subscription services saw their sales soar by nearly 40% throughout last year. In 2010, while only 8 million people paid for music subscription, the figure now stands at more than 41 million.
Apple’s new service could stir things up to a great degree. Their service is expected to be priced on a monthly fee of US$10.