Apple is to launch its own music streaming service.
Apple is describing Apple Music as a "revolutionary streaming music service", and "a great new way for music fans to connect with their favourite artists". When in fact competitors such as Google and Microsoft have been offering similar experiences with Google Play and X Box Music for years.
Apple said in a media statement that Apple Music would be an app that put the entire Apple Music catalogue at the disposal of listeners: "whether from the iTunes Store or ripped CDs — your music now lives in one place alongside the Apple Music catalogue with over 30 million songs.
"We love music, and the new Apple Music service puts an incredible experience at every fan's fingertips," Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue said. "All the ways people love enjoying music come together in one app — a revolutionary streaming service, live worldwide radio and an exciting way for fans to connect with artists."
Music producer Jimmy Iovine described Apple Music as a service that was really going to move the needle for fans and artists.
"Online music has become a complicated mess of apps, services and websites. Apple Music brings the best features together for an experience every music lover will appreciate."
Apple Music is scheduled for a June 30 launch for Apple's own iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac computers as well as personal computers running windows, but Apple TV users and users of devices running the Android mobile operating system will have to wait until next quarter.
The first three months of Apple Music are free but Apple will charge a yet to be released monthly subscription after that.
At the same time Apple will launch Beats 1, its first live radio station dedicated entirely to music and music culture, which will broadcast live to over 100 24-hours per day.
The radio station will be led by influential DJs Zane Lowe in Los Angeles, Ebro Darden in New York and Julie Adenuga in London. Listeners will hear the same programming at the same time. Exciting programs on Beats 1 will offer exclusive interviews, guest hosts and the best of what's going on in the world of music.
The new stations range in genres from indie rock to classical and folk to funk, with each one expertly curated. With membership, you can skip as many songs as you like, so you can change the tune without changing the dial.
Artists and fans now have an incredible way to connect with one another directly in Apple Music with Connect. Through Connect, artists can share lyrics, backstage photos, videos or even release their latest song directly to fans directly from their iPhone. Fans can comment on or like anything an artist has posted, and share it via Messages, Facebook, Twitter and email. And when you comment, the artist can respond directly to you.
You can find out more about it at www.apple.com/nz/music/