Market Overview

Apple Aims High For Streaming Music Business


Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) aims to sign up 100 million users to its streaming music service unveiled Monday at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Apple acquired a streaming music business as part of its $3 billion purchase last year of Beats Electronics; the company valued Beats' music business at about $500 million at that time.

Beats Music had just 303,000 U.S. subscribers as of December, compared to 4.7 million in the U.S. for market leader Spotify, according to the Associated Press, which reported Apple's goal of 100 million users on Monday.

The new service, under the moniker Apple Music, will revamp the existing iTunes Radio by adding live disk jockeys, according to a report in USA Today.

Related Link: 'Planet Apple' Makes Apple Worth $195/Share

"Algorithms can't do it all. You need the human touch," Jimmy Iovine said on stage, according to the newspaper.

Apple will retain Beats Music subscription fees of near $10 per person, according to multiple reports.

Sales from Apple's iTunes have been declining recently, and Apple's entry into streaming music has stirred speculation on whether the company can compete with entrenched companies like Spotify.

But regardless of the answer, Apple's core business remains hardware.

"It doesn't really matter," MarketWatch columnist David Weidner wrote of Apple's streaming music prospects.

"For investors, it would be wise not to get caught up in the forecasts and hype," Weidner said. "Profits are the one thing that Apple knows how to stream better than any of its rivals."


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