Back in September, Re/code learned that Apple was looking to unveil a reworked, re-branded Beats Music service in early February of this year, possibly even in time for the Grammy Awards.
Now 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman casts new light on Apple’s plans for Beats Music, revealing in his Wednesday morning report that a yet-to-be-named music service will be paid for, entirely Apple-designed and based on Beats’ technologies and music content.
After speaking to multiple sources within Apple and the music industry, Gurman learned that the new service will cost less than ten bucks per month.
Surprisingly enough, Apple is said to be working on a companion app for Android.
The revamped Beats service is said to be integrated deeply into iOS, iTunes and the Apple TV rather than being a separate iPhone app, like it is now. There are no immediate plans to develop a web app or a Windows Phone app for the new service.
Furthermore, existing music products such as iTunes Match, iTunes Radio and iTunes Store will continue to be offered for the time being, despite some overlap in functionality with a reworked Beats Music.
Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine and Nine Inch Nails leader Trent Reznor are said to be involved in the project.
“The company is currently developing new Beats-infused versions of the Music application for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, as well as an updated iTunes application for computers that deeply integrates Beats functionality,” Gurman claims.
“A new Apple TV application is also in the works,” he added.
The Financial Times first reported on Beats-iOS bundling last November.
With the new Music app, you’ll be able to search, stream or add to your library any song from the iTunes/Beats catalog. In addition to streaming, you’ll be able to download individual tracks for offline listening.
Beats Music accounts will get merged with the Apple ID/iTunes profiles. iTunes in the Cloud will match songs from existing Beats libraries.
Pictured below: the current Beats Music iOS app.
Human-curated, activity-based Playlists, Activities and Mixes from the Beats Music app will get folded into the new Music app. Following other users and artists may be supported, too, as Apple is purportedly updating Beats’ social networking features.
“While Beats technologies will be under the hood, the interface design will be entirely Apple’s, ditching Beats’ black and red theme for a look consistent with iTunes and the iOS Music app,” the article continues.
On the downside, personnel and management issues have taken a toll on the project. “Beats integration is not going so well,” said one source. It “has been a mess,” added another.
Significant employee departures from Apple’s services division “could be in sight” as a lack of clarity from Apple executives over the direction of the project is said to have pushed the launch back to Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June.