APPLE IS REPORTEDLY trying to convince music labels to force Spotify to can its free streaming tiers, ahead of the launch of Apple’s competing Beats Music service.
That’s according to The Verge, which has heard from sources that Apple is trying to use its influence and power in the industry to convince music labels to put an end to the free streaming services offered by the likes of Spotify.
“All the way up to [Apple CEO] Tim Cook, these guys are cutthroat,” one music industry source told the website.
This could be bad news for Spotify if Apple gets its way. Only 15 million of the service’s 60 million listeners are currently paying subscribers, while the other 45 million rely on the ad-supported free tier.
According to reports, Apple’s streaming service will cost $7.99 per month, less than the the $9.99 monthly fee Spotify charges for its premium service.
If The Verge‘s report proves to be accurate, Apple is seemingly trying to limit Spotify’s selection of free music so that people will be more tempted to pay for Apple’s cheaper service.
Apple is reportedly trying to deliver a similar blow to Google. The Verge‘s sources added that Apple also offered to pay YouTube’s music licensing fee to Universal Music Group if the label stopped allowing its songs on the service.
Apple might not get its way so easily, however, as the report claims that the US Department of Justice has already begun conducting interviews with music industry executives regarding Apple’s potentially suspect business practices.
Apple’s long-rumoured Beats Music service is expected to debut at this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), which kicks off in San Francisco on 8 June.
It will probably form part of Apple’s next iOS release, iOS 9, which is tipped to arrive on the iPhone 7 later this year.
Apple is also expected to unveil the 12in iPad Pro tablet at WWDC, along with the first 15in Retina-display MacBook and the next iteration of the OS X desktop software. µ