This is a momentous month for Apple's future as a part of the music world. On June 30 we'll get our first glimpse at Apple Music, Apple's own music subscription service. But Apple's history with music goes back 14 years, and what a long, strange trip it's been.
Jason Snell takes us on a walk down memory lane, documenting Apple's long history with music and looking ahead to Apple Music.
While a la carte music sales aren't going to disappear entirely, it's clear that there's also a major segment of the music market that would much rather pay to have access to a giant streaming library. With the purchase of Beats and the launch of Apple Music on June 30, Apple's entering yet another phase in its relationship to music.
The iPod and iTunes weren't the first attempts to create portable music hardware and an online music store, respectively. But it's fair to say that Apple's competition in the streaming music field is far more advanced and popular than the competition in those previous music categories.
I can't wait to see what the subscriber numbers look like for Apple Music after the free trial period ends. How many early adopters will stick around when it becomes $9.99 per month?
I also think it is incredibly important that Apple is embracing Windows and Android with Apple Music. Getting on Windows brought much success to iTunes and the iPod — and Android is arguably becoming the new Windows — and I believe these platforms will be key to Apple Music taking on Spotify, Rdio, Tidal and the like.