Apple's upcoming streaming music service may be called simply "Apple Music" and it may also include social networking tools for artists, according to a new report from 9to5Mac that cites industry sources with knowledge of Apple's plans.
According to industry sources, Apple will give artists their own page that they can use to post concert dates, photos, videos and samples of their songs. And artists will be allowed to cross-promote other artists. For example, if Marilyn Manson wants to, he can help try to get his fans to listen to Justin Bieber and vice versa. Users will be able to comment on posts from these artists and "like" them.
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Hints of the new feature were found within the latest iOS 8.4 beta, released yesterday. In the Settings app, under General --> Restrictions, there's a new section called "Artist Activity," said to be correlated to the upcoming social networking features. Presumably, parents will be able to toggle this on or off to enable or disable restrictions on content updates from artists.
Rumors of an integrated social network for artists line up with previous rumors highlighting Apple's efforts to make some streaming music content available for free. Apple would offer a SoundCloud-like sharing experience. It's possible that clips and videos uploaded by artists on their social networking pages will be available for free to all users, rather than limited to subscribers.
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Apple plans to charge $9.99 per month for its streaming music service and it will not offer a freemium tier like other music services. The Justice Department is believed to be looking at Apple as the company has allegedly asked the record labels it is in talks with, to try to force Spotify to put an end to its ad-supported free tier of service. 75% of Spotify's subscribers are non-paying customers.