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Apple streaming service will launch today, says Sony boss

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Sony Music CEO confirms streaming launch ahead of today's WWDC announcement

Apple will definitely launch its streaming music at today’s WWDC keynote, according to the CEO of Sony Music. The music executive confirmed the launch during an interview at a trade conference for the music industry in Cannes, predicting it could give the entire streaming market – including chief rival Spotify – a boost 

As one of the major music labels, Sony will doubtless be aware of Apple’s plans. And despite Apple’s notorious desire for secrecy around new product launches, it seeems the company has been unable to keep the lid on this one. “It’s happening tomorrow,” said Doug Morris, when asked yesterday about Apple’s streaming service during an on-stage interview at Midem, according to Venture Beat

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Whilst Morris can expect a rather terse call from Tim Cook, he did at least welcome Apple’s entry into the streaming market. “What does Apple bring to this?” Morris said. “Well, they’ve got $178 billion dollars in the bank. And they have 800 million credit cards in iTunes. Spotify has never really advertised because it’s never been profitable. My guess is that Apple will promote this like crazy and I think that will have a halo effect on the streaming business.”

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Morris didn’t reveal any details about the price of Apple’s offering, but it’s widely expected to come in at the same $9.99/£9.99 per month as Spotify Premium. Apple has spent the past few months lobbying the music labels to bar Spotify from offering a free subscription tier, making it highly unlikely that its customers will get anything more than a time-limited trial before having to pay. 

Spotify will likely still have one major advantage over Apple after today’s announcement: its cross-platform support. Apple is highly unlikely to offer its streaming service on rival platforms, meaning only those who use Apple across the board (Mac, iPad and iPhone) won’t suffer some inconvenience if they decide to sign up. 

Apple will differentiate its service by offering curated playlists and “radio” stations. Apple has hired the former Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe to work for its music team. 

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