Multiple sources are reporting that Apple's much anticipated streaming service will not have a free streaming component. Some have called the move a "streaming suicide mission." Apple spent over $3 billion to acquire Beats, and this move seems to give credence to the chatter that Apple has been promoting the service to labels and the music business in general as a profit generating paywall for the industry.
If true, the paid subscription only service from Apple will be competing against Pandora, Spotify and YouTube, who all have free services. Google announced on Friday that it is now offering an introductory $3.00 a month plan, for the first three months. Apple is rumored to be releasing the revamped Beat's service as a beta at the WWDC, with a free introductory launch, later switching to a $7.99 a month plan. Last month, Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grainge told a confernece, "[we] want to accelerate paid subscription -- ad-funded on-demand is not going to sustain the entire ecosystem of the creators as well as the investors."
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