Apple Launches Streaming Music and Social Platform
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

At its annual Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, Apple tapped Grammy Award-winning rapper, Aubrey “Drake” Graham, to announce Apple Music, a new service that will blend streaming music and radio on a social network where users can also purchase tunes.

“Given the great success of my last mix-tape that went directly to iTunes … I can’t wait to incorporate Apple Music and, especially, Connect into what I am doing next,” said Drake, confirming that his next album will be released through the service. “It’s truly amazing to be a part of something that I believe in. This is something that simplifies everything for the modern musician, like myself, and the modern music consumer like you.”

Fans can follow their favorite artists through Connect and listen to popular DJs, like Pharrell Williams, Dr. Dre and, on the 24-hour radio station called Beats 1, which will be available in 100 countries, reports

Apple’s streaming music is not much different than Rdio or Spotify, in that the 30 million tracks on Apple Music are also going to be found on Spotify or Rdio, plus Apple’s pricing is not competitive.

The platform, which will be available June 30, will cost $9.99 a month, or $14.99 for a family plan of up to six individuals, with a three-month free trial. Spotify offers a two-person subscription package for $14.99, and Rdio’s family plan includes four people  for $9.99.

Siri will integrate with Apple Music, allowing users to give instructions for what songs to play based on descriptions. For example: “Siri, play the top track from the Summer of 2014.”

Connect, the social networking feature, will allow fans to follow artists, who will post music, photos, and messages. Apple describes Connect as “a place where musicians give their fans a closer look at their work, their inspirations, and their world. It’s a main line into the heart of music – great stuff straight from the artists.” The site suggests that musicians can upload rough cuts of new videos and in-progress lyrics.

Connect also provides a platform for up-and-coming artists to gain traction, sell content, and curate videos. Apple Music Connect posts from artists can be shared on Twitter, Facebook, and other sites.

Like Pandora, Beats 1 allows listeners to build a station based on a song, genre, album or artist. The old iTunes radio stations have been completely overhauled to include a range of genres from indie rock to classical, folk, and funk.

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.