Apple Music Overview Updated January 27, 2020

Apple Music

Apple's streaming music service

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758 'Apple Music' stories

April 2015 - January 2020

Apple Music is Apple’s streaming service that was first introduced at WWDC in 2015. The service launched that same summer and positioned Apple as a direct competitor to services like Spotify, Amazon Music, and Google Play Music. It allows users to access 50 million tracks instantly. Music can be downloaded for offline listening, as well as streamed from the cloud. The service also includes iCloud Music library which allows you to upload content purchased/ripped and make it available on all of your devices.

Apple Music Devices

The service is accessible via the built-in iOS Music app,  Apple Music on the Mac, iTunes on a PC, Apple TV, and on Apple Watch. It’s also available on Android, Amazon Echo devices, Sonos, and Amazon Fire TV. In September of 2019, Apple also launched a beta version of a web app.

Alongside the streaming music service, Apple introduced an always-on streaming radio service called Beats 1. Spearheaded by Zane Lowe, Beats 1 features a wide array of shows, many of which are hosted by celebrities such as DJ Khaled, Elton John, and Pharrell. Beats 1 doesn’t require an Apple Music subscription and is accessible to everyone via iTunes and the Music app for macOS.

Apple Music Pricing

The service is $9.99 per month for one user, while a family plan is also available for $14.99. Students also get a steep discount, with a student tier offering the service for just $4.99.

If you are considering switching from Spotify, be sure to read our comparison article.

Apple Music Features

Some of the key features for Apple Music includes iCloud Music library, For You, Personalized Playlists, and Replay.

iCloud Music Library lets you add music to Apple Music on the Mac and then it will add it to your library across all your devices. This feature is useful if you have a lot of live albums that aren’t available for any streaming service. iCloud Music Library is also handy when a record isn’t available to stream, but is to purchase. An example of when this is useful is when a Taylor Swift’s Reputation album was released in 2017. It didn’t appear on Apple Music or Spotify for three weeks. If you wanted to buy it as an Apple Music subscriber, you could just purchase it on iTunes and then it would be automatically added to your Apple Music library. If were a Spotify user, there is no way to do this. You can still buy it, but it would be inside the Music app on your iPhone vs being inside of Spotify (where the rest of your library is).

The For You functionality is aimed at helping you discover what you will want to listen to based on the time of day and what your friends are listening to/ The Personalized Playlists include a “New Music Mix”, “Friends Mix”, “Favorites Mix, and “Chill Mix”. All of these are updated weekly.

In November of 2019, Apple debuted a new feature called Replay.

Replay feature provides users a playlist of their most listened to songs from 2019, as well as prior years dating all the way back to 2015.

You can also see interesting insights into your most popular artists, albums, and more. For the Apple Music Replay playlists, you can share them with others just like a normal playlist and download them for offline listening.

What differentiates Replay from Spotify Wrapped, however, is that Replay will be continuously updated and can be accessed year-round. Spotify Wrapped is specifically for year-in-review purposes, but Replay will be continuously updated as you listen to Apple Music throughout the year.

For instance, in January of 2020, you’ll already be able to see your Replay 2020 playlist – but it will be blank and ready for you to start filling up. The playlist will update on a weekly basis throughout the year, giving you a live look at your listening trends.


Apple Music Stories January 27

How to cancel your Apple Music subscription

Ready to cancel Apple Music? Read on for how to cancel your Apple Music subscription in five easy steps. We’ll also look at how to pay less for the service if you’d like to keep it, but at a discounted price.

Apple Music Stories January 26

Last week, I wrote about wanting to see a ‘Kids’ Mode‘ in Apple Music in 2020. Since I’ve been a subscriber to Apple Music since day one, I started thinking about ways I’d want to change the service going forward. Apple Music is a fantastic service, and it provides the best bang for the buck of any of the subscriptions I have personally used. These are just some minor tweaks I’d want to see. Here’s my Apple Music wishlist for 2020. expand full story

Apple Music Stories January 23

Amazon Music subscriber numbers have been revealed for the first time. The company says that it has now hit 55 million subscribers, putting it close to the last-reported Apple Music subscriber count of 60 million.

Amazon Music kicks off 2020 by revealing the streaming service has reached more than 55 million customers globally, with subscriptions to Amazon Music Unlimited growing by more than 50% last year alone. This announcement comes after a year of incredible growth around the world: Amazon Music has grown nearly 50% year-over-year across the US, UK, Germany, and Japan and has more than doubled in our newer countries such as France, Italy, Spain, and Mexico …

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Apple Music Stories January 19

I’ve been an Apple Music subscriber since day one when it launched in 2015. Despite times of flirting with Spotify, the easy access with all my Apple devices, a familiar interface, and iCloud Music Library (for my custom live music), Apple Music has always been home for my family. If you’d told me in 2005 that we’d be paying $14.99 per month for my entire family to access virtually all the music in the world, I would have thought you were crazy. Apple Music’s family plan is one of the best deals of any service around. As we look ahead to iOS 14 and 2020, I do have a straightforward feature request. I want Apple to build an Apple Music ‘Kids’ Mode’ to preserve For You and Replay results. expand full story

Apple Music Stories January 16

Apple has announced that it is partnering with the National Basketball Association. The deal will specifically focus on Apple Music, with the NBA and Apple highlighting up-and-coming independent artists.

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Apple Music Stories January 9

The streaming music industry continues to grow, with new data from Nielsen indicating that music streams in the United States alone crossed one trillion in 2019. With that increase, streaming services accounted for 82% of music consumption in the United States.

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