Today marks the launch of the highly anticipated Apple Music service. The new streaming service is available with the update and will be available for a three-month free trial. The service currently includes more than 30 million songs, as well as human-curated playlists, exclusive artist content, and a new live Internet radio station, Beats 1, which went live at 12 p.m. ET Tuesday.
With Apple Music, users can stream songs anytime for $9.99 a month. A family plan is also available for $14.99 a month that supports up to six people. Users are required to choose a subscription plan that will automatically renew once the free trial expires. However, the auto renewal can be turned off by changing your Apple ID settings from within the app.
There are multiple ways to use Apple Music to listen to old favorites and discover new music. Users can also use Apple Music through Siri. Siri can be told to play a specific song, album or playlist you’ve made, play the top 20 songs of a specific music genre, or even find music by date. Apple Music will also scan your existing music library and look for matches in the iTunes catalog to make them part of your iCloud Music Library.
Apple Music has gotten a lot of publicity in recent weeks due to complaints that the service was not planning to pay artists for the music streamed during the free trial period. Many artists and independent labels complained that the terms of Apple’s contracts were unfair and would lead to a considerable loss of income. Pop star Taylor Swift also joined the chorus admonishing Apple for trying to take advantage of artists, posting on her Twitter account about the questionable contract terms.
After Swift jumped into the fray, Apple relented and released a statement that it would be paying artists for the music streamed during the three-month trial period. Shortly after, Swift announced that her latest album, 1989, would be available on Apple Music. She has thus far withheld the album from other streaming services, including Spotify. Apple Music competes directly with Spotify, Rdio, Pandora, Amazon Prime Music and other streaming music services.