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A free service on Spotify could be a thing of the past if Apple has its way

It’s pressurising record labels to force music streaming services like Spotify to abandon its free version

Image: AP Photo/Richard Drew

APPLE IS PRESSURISING record labels to make music streaming services abandon their free services.

The company is trying to convince music labels not to renew licences from services like Spotify that allow them to stream their music through a free service, according to The Verge.

The most successful service, Spotify, has 60 million people signed up, but only 15 million pay for the service. If Apple is successful with its tactics, it will deal a significant blow to its rivals, giving it a better chance to revive Beats Music, which came as part of its $3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics.

It’s also believed that Apple is offering to pay Universal Music Group the money it receives from YouTube if it stops putting its songs on the video site.

While it makes the majority of its money from advertising and licensing fees, YouTube also has its own music service, YouTube Music Key, which also comes with Google Play Music.

Apple’s music streaming service is expected to be launched at WWDC, the company’s developer conference, in June where it will reveal the latest iPhone update iOS 9. The update itself would likely arrive in September, to coincide with the launch of the latest iPhone.

The company has been in talks with a number of artists like Taylor Swift and Florence and the Machine as it tries to line up exclusive content when it launches. The monthly subscription is expected to cost $9.99 while a family plan will cost $14.99.

Other similar efforts come from Tidal, the high-quality audio streaming site headed by Jay-Z. In March, its relaunch featured a number of high-profile artists such as Beyonce, Madonna, Daft Punk, Kanye West and others, saying they wanted a service that would “re-establish the value of music”.

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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