An important point whenever rumourmongering about Apple’s plans to relaunch Beats Music: the company has been throwing shade at free, unlimited on-demand streaming music (as epitomised by Spotify’s free tier on the desktop) rather than free, streaming music. Free will still have a role to play in new iTunes, though. 

In fact, Recode reports that it will have three roles: a continuation of the ad-supported iTunes Radio service; a free trial of up to three months if Apple’s licences support that much; and most intriguingly “a feature that will let music owners upload a sampling of songs that users could listen to without subscribing to the service… something akin to SoundCloud”. It’s a reminder that while Apple’s main funnel to subscriptions will be its ability to preload an iTunes app on every single iOS device, the company will also be using free music in its own way to get people experiencing its new service.

EarPods and phone

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