Apple’s upcoming subscription music service apparently won’t offer ad-driven free tier

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Apple’s subscription-based music-streaming service based on Beats technology will not include a free tier supported by advertising akin to iTunes Radio, Re/code reported Friday morning.

This doesn’t exclude the possibility of a time-limited trial for new customers, the publication added. According to unnamed sources who have talked to Apple executives, led by SVP Eddy Cue and Beats Music co-founder Jimmy Iovine, the music business “needs to get behind a paywall.”

Exclusivity is the name of the game.

“Sources say Apple would like to make a splash by getting high-profile artists to distribute their music with Apple before it makes its way to other services,” reads the report.

Apple’s timing couldn’t have been better.

Back in November, a Sony Music exec said the company was re-evaluating support for free streaming music. In the same vein, Warner Music Group CEO Stephen Cooper made it clear that his is growing less interested in ad-supported freemium music services.

“We continue to believe that the long-term sustainability of the freemium model is predicated on high levels of conversion from ad-supported free to paid subscription,” he said, adding Warner was pleased that two of the world’s top streaming services have taken steps to “convert segments of their massive customer bases into paying subscribers.”

According to the rumors, Apple has the launch of the service from the first quarter of 2015 back to Apple’s summer developers conference, when the service should be announced in a beta form.

As for price points, most checks seem to indicate that Apple will undercut Rdio and Spotify, which cost ten bucks per month, with a more affordable price point of eight bucks per month, which works out to $96 on an annual basis.

The service should launch as part of the iOS 8.4 software update and is said to be integrated tightly with the stock iOS Music app, offering users curated playlists, cloud-based libraries and recommendations based on their musical tastes.

Source: Re/code