Apple will apparently not offer a free tier for is oft-rumored subscription music service when it launches later this year. Company executives have reportedly been saying as much during negotiations with record labels.
For current Beats Music subscribers, this wouldn't be any sort of change. Apple will reportedly still offer a trial period on the service, then charge after that. This is exactly how Beats Music works now. But Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue and Beats' Jimmy Iovine have apparently been making aggressive arguments for this model in recent license negotiations for their upcoming streaming service, according to Re/code:
Apple executives, led by media head Eddy Cue and Beats Music founder Jimmy Iovine, have been arguing that the music business "needs to get behind a paywall," say people who have talked to them. Apple bought Beats last year, partly to help it gain a foothold on streaming music just as iTunes sales of digital downloads had started to drop.
Apple's free iTunes Radio service will reportedly remain intact after the launch of the new service, as it is apparently not considered a threat to music sales. It almost goes without saying that this would serve the same function as a free subscription tier.
Almost since the moment they purchased the company in summer 2014, Apple has been said to be integrating Beats into its musical offering. Apple is reportedly shooting for a price of $7.99 a month, and the service is said to be integrated into the iOS Music app. As previously reported Apple is apparently aiming for an unveiling, if not an outright launch, at or after this year's Worldwide Developers Conference.