Apple-owned Beats Music only had 303,000 U.S. subscribers as of December 2014, according to royalty tracking company Audiam. According to a recent report from Associated Press, though, Cupertino is targeting 100 million subscribers for the rebranded “Apple Music” streaming service expected to be announced at WWDC on June 8. Compared to Spotify’s 4.7 million U.S. subscribers, that seems like a daunting number.
However, think about the reach of the iPhone. In the last quarter alone, Apple sold 61 million iPhones. The relatively small number of Beats Music subscribers will be migrated over to Apple Music, and buyers of songs and albums on iTunes will be presented the option to subscribe to the new service instead of making their purchase.
Sony Music CEO Doug Morris spoke at the Midem Music Industry Festival, according to an article from VentureBeat, where he effectively confirmed that Apple will announce its streaming service as part of the WWDC keynote on June 8. During an interview at Midem, Morris said, “It’s happening tomorrow.” Morris also pointed out that he still talks to former producer Jimmy Iovine, now the head of Apple’s music services, twice a day by telephone.
How likely is it that Apple will hit the 100 million subscriber mark for Apple Music? While Morris did not mention numbers, he did point out an interesting fact, saying that “Spotify has never really advertised because it’s never been profitable.” Continuing, Morris said, “My guess is that Apple will promote this like crazy and I think that will have a halo effect on the streaming business.”
Apple Music is expected to cost $10 per month, and offer a free three-month trial period. Cupertino is also expected to beef up its free iTunes Radio with a live online radio station featuring disc jockeys like artists Pharrell Williams, Drake, Muse, David Guetta, and former BBC host Zane Lowe.