We've known for a long time that this day was coming, and now it's finally here — Apple has officially announced its streaming service.
The platform is simply titled Apple Music, and as the company revealed today (June 8) at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, it's an app that includes music streaming, a 24-hour radio station called Beats 1, and a Connect service that allows artists to share materials (like songs, videos, lyrics or messages) directly with their fans.
It will officially launch on June 30 in more than 100 countries. In addition to Apple devices, it will be available on PC and Android phones this fall, and users will get a free three-month trial. After that, it costs $9.99 USD per month, with the option of a six-person family plan for $14.99 USD per month.
The streaming service integrates your own personal music library on iTunes into the massive Apple Music streaming catalogue. There will be curated playlists, and Siri can also direct users to music they might be interested in.
As for the Beats 1 radio station, it will be led by DJs Zane Lowe (in Los Angeles), Ebro Darden (in New York) and Julie Adenuga (in London).
Lastly, Apple describes Connect like this: "Through Connect, artists can share lyrics, backstage photos, videos or even release their latest song directly to fans directly from their iPhone. Fans can comment on or like anything an artist has posted, and share it via Messages, Facebook, Twitter and email. And when you comment, the artist can respond directly to you."
Drake helped demonstrate this at Apple's conference today, and profiles by artists such as Pharrell, Chris Cornell, Bastille and Alabama Shakes were featured in the announcement. There was also an announcement video narrated by Trent Reznor, and it starred FKA twigs.