Update, 3:22PM EST: No Kanye appearance, but The Weeknd is premiering his new single via a live performance.
Update, 3:18PM EST: Apple Music will be $9.99 a month and free for the first three months, with family accounts for $14.99.
Update, 3:14PM EST: Beats 1 received a brief preview. A preview of Connect showed yet-to-be-recorded lyrics by Chris Cornell and behind-the-scenes footage by Bastille and more, along with a new song by an “unknown” artist. Naturally, Siri fucked up when asked to play the song from Selma.
Update, 3:11PM EST: Many of the features of Apple Music will be familiar to those that used Beats Music, including the way that users can tell the app which genres and artists they like. That info, along with iTunes purchase data, is used to create playlists and recommendations.
Update, 3:02PM EST: Connect allows artists to upload directly to social media platforms — and Drake (in a retro Apple staff jacket) is there to introduce the feature and crack bad jokes.
Update, 3:00PM EST: Zane Lowe gave a brief intro to Beats 1 (“Always on, playing the music we love”). It will be broadcast from New York, Los Angeles and London.
Update, 2:55PM EST: In a video narrated by Trent Reznor, Apple has introduced Apple Music. The platform will allow users to stream iTunes “any time and on the run” and find recommendations and playlists. Plus, it will feature a 24/7 radio station called Beats 1, hosted by Zane Lowe, Ebro Darden and Julie Adenuga (Skepta and JME’s sister). There will also be a “Connect” feature that allows artists to share content directly with fans. The tagline is “all the ways you love music, all in one place.”
Update, 2:49PM EST: After nearly two hours of developer-centric news, Tim Cook teased “one more thing” before sharing a video about the history of music and bringing Jimmy Iovine.
Update, 1:39PM EST: It appears that any announcements about the streaming service are being saved until the end. Apple SVP Craig Federighi did joke that Trent Reznor is his vocal coach, though.
It’s been the worst-kept secret in the music business for months.
Today (June 8) Apple is expected to formally announce its streaming service at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco.
The service has been widely expected since the company bought Beats Electronics for $3 billion last year. Over the weekend it was as much as confirmed to launch today by Sony Music CEO Doug Morris.
In recent months, Apple has poached a number of BBC employees including Zane Lowe to work for the company, reportedly to reconfigure the iTunes Radio service. Drake and David Guetta have also been linked with the service, with reports suggesting they will DJ on iTunes Radio.
The service is expected to have a social networking aspect that allows artists to engage with their fans. Recent rumours have also suggested Kanye West will use the service exclusively to launch his next album, though it doesn’t look as if it will be happening today.
We’ll be updating this story with the key updates from Apple’s conference as they happen.