Will Apple launch music streaming service next week?
According to a June 1 report in the Wall Street Journal, Apple (AAPL) could launch its new music streaming service as soon as June 8 at its Worldwide Developers Conference (or WWDC). The report also mentions that Apple is rushing to not only fine-tune its music service but to sign contracts with record labels. Apple has still not signed agreements with major players such as Sony Music Entertainment (SNE), Vivendi’s Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group.
Russia (RSX) could be Apple’s first international location to launch its music streaming service. To find out more about this, you can read the Market Realist article Apple to Launch Its New Music Streaming Service in Russia.
Until last year, Apple focused its efforts on persuading users to purchase songs through its iTunes Store. However, consumer interest has shifted toward low-cost subscription services. Responding to this trend, Apple made its largest acquisition, buying Beats Music and Beats Electronics for $3 billion in August 2014.
Robust music streaming market attracts many players
According to a report from Statista that cites Nielsen data, on-demand audio music and on-demand video music have seen tremendous growth in the last year. As the chart above shows, digital album, digital track, and CD album sales have all declined. This is the primary reason for Apple’s entry into the music streaming market.
Although the growth potential in this market is great, Apple will need to overcome stiff competition in this market from established players such as Spotify and Pandora (P). Spotify recently struck a deal with Starbucks (SBUX) in which Starbucks will promote streaming Spotify music in its stores. In return, Spotify subscribers can take advantage of Starbucks’s reward points program.