Apple's Jimmy Iovine and Eddy Cue recently sat down with Billboard for an interview in which they discuss aspects of Apple Music, including the service's pricing, the reasoning behind creating a radio station, and much more. One of the more interesting bits from the interview involved Apple Music's radio station, Beats1. Internet radio is certainly nothing new, but Iovine explained that Apple wanted come at it from the angle of exposing great artists without the pressure that traditional radio stations face to play artists or songs based on research:
What's gone on in the last 15 years in radio is that it's really become manufactured. It's either genre-based or beat-driven or research-driven. So I said, let's build something that's got none of that that just plays music because it's great. So we got Zane, someone who's very progressive about young, upcoming artists who want to push it by establishing great records. But don't play it just because it's a [particular] artist. Like The War on Drugs -- they should be gigantic. I think they're fantastic. This is the kind of place where a band like that can really thrive.
On the price of the service, Cue said that Apple's main focus was on securing a reasonable family pricing more than anything:
A lot on the $14.99 -- not so much the $9.99. I think the cost of an album for a month of subscription is fair. Could you argue, $7.99 or $8.99? Who cares. I think where subscription is missing the boat is on the family -- you have a spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend kids … the concept of signing up for these individual subscription plans multiple times is just not going to happen so we spent a lot of time with the labels to convince them that the real opportunity here is to get the whole family. With that, all boats rise.
The whole interview is an interesting read. Iovine and Cue talk about streaming rival Tidal, dealing with labels, and the fate of downloads in the streaming age. Apple Music is set to debut on June 30 at $9.99 for individuals and $14.99 for families (up to 6 users).
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