The technology giant is planning to go into direct competition with Spotify and internet radio service Pandora offering users a subscription for $10 (£6.50) a month, a similar price point to Spotify according to reports in the The Wall Street Journal.
The company will announce its new service at a developers’ conference in next week – and although it will not offer access to its entire catalogue like Spotify does, it will build on its current internet radio service, as well as creating a streaming service. There were even hints it is willing to “cannibalise” its current iTunes download model to create a streaming business.
Analysts have predicted such a move since Apple bought Dr Dre’s Beats brand for $3bn in May last year. Although the company was best known for its headphones, it also ran a subscription streaming service, although that had failed to compete with giants such as Spotify.
However, Jay Z has also launched his own attempt at rivaling Spotify, with Tidal, which offers two subscription levels – a standard $9.99 a month version, and “Tidal HiFi”, which for $19.99 offers “lossless high fidelity sound and quality”.
The music streaming sector is really hotting up as Google’s YouTube is another contender for the streaming crown. In November last year it made a deal with right rights agency Merlin, which represents thousands of artists including Adele, Arctic Monkeys and Sigur Ros.