Reuters reports that Amazon is preparing to take on Apple Music, Spotify and the other music streaming services with a similar, full-fledged competitive subscription music service. That would be a step up from the limited catalog of music it currently offers to subscribers of its Prime shipping service that bundles perks for various Amazon services for a monthly or yearly fee.
After bringing his new album to Apple Music and Spotify, fans are suing Kanye West claiming they purchased subscriptions to West-backed music app Tidal on the promise the album would be exclusive to the service.
Since first launching its new Apple Music subscription streaming service for users last June, and bringing it to China in September, Apple has been slowly bringing it to more countries behind the scenes. Today, Turkey is the latest to get access as the service quietly launches for users in the country.
Apple reportedly has plans to work with publishers to support viewing subscription content in its Apple News app, according to Reuters which cites two anonymous sources. Currently, the Apple News app does not support authenticating subscriber log-ins. That means content can’t be behind a pay wall and can only be monetized by web advertising when readers follow through to the publisher’s website or by using iAds. Apple’s iAd network is noticeably going through a shuffle at the moment with the company recently announcing the end of its App Network where developers advertise their apps.
With the first of the 3-month free trials for Apple Music set to expire tomorrow, many users will have their credit cards charged automatically for the $9.99/month service going forward (or $14.99/month for the family plan). If you’ve decided that you don’t want to continue with Apple Music experience and want to avoid being charged for your first month, we’ve put together quick and easy instructions on how to cancel your subscription to keep it from auto-renewing (which is on by default when you sign-up). Otherwise, Apple will charge the credit card linked to the Apple ID that you used to sign-up for Apple Music. Expand Expanding Close
A new study from research firm MusicWatch shares some insight into Apple Music usage, including the percentages of users the subscription streaming service has been able to attract from Apple’s old iTunes music platform and competing services.
Around 11 percent of iOS users report actually using Apple Music (although 77 percent were aware it had launched), and that number is approximately the same among users purchasing or managing their music through iTunes. Compare those numbers to the approximately 40 percent of iOS users that MusicWatch says buy music in the form of digital downloads through iTunes.
In addition, the report notes that usage among existing iTunes Radio users sits at 18 percent. That would mean Apple Music has only attracted a small portion of iTunes users in general. While the numbers compared to iTunes usage are low, MusicWatch notes that the service has been able to convert around 52% of users that gave the service a try since launch. To me, that’s a good sign that the biggest hurdle is actually getting users to try the service. But how does usage relate to that of competitive services?…
Apple’s talks with networks for its upcoming streaming TV cable service are well underway, according to the New York Post. The four main broadcast networks are involved: ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. Apple’s 30% revenue share of the subscription fee remains a point of contention, but the report claims that negotiations are rapidly gaining momentum with Apple targeting a late fall launch of its new TV product.
Disney or CBS will apparently be the first companies to sign up with Apple and get the skinny TV package deal rolling. Apple wants to have channels like Disney’s ESPN and Discovery in the mix too. Apple is also interested in getting local live TV as part of the package, as has been previously reported. According to the report, Apple has worked out a way to speed up the process so it doesn’t have to negotiate with every local affiliate network across the country itself.
Apple Music officially launched today in iOS 8.4 alongside an integrated radio service featuring the 24/7 live streaming station known as Beats 1. Everyone is getting a free three month trial, but once that ends, Apple will start charging the credit card on your Apple ID with either the $9.99/month plan or the $14.99/month family plan (depending on what you selected when first signing up). If you want to cancel your subscription, or just keep it from auto-renewing so you can go month-to-month and manually activate it when you want, below we’ve put together a quick guide on how to do so across platforms:Expand Expanding Close
Apple has long taken a 30% cut of sales made through its various digital stores, including fees charged for subscriptions to Newsstand magazines and other recurring charges. However, Re/code reports today that the company has cut that figure in half for subscriptions charged through the Apple TV.
In a move that’s likely intended to bring in content, Apple allows companies like Hulu and HBO to keep a larger portion of their subscription fees on the TV-based hub device, though charges made through iOS apps and other platforms still seem to fall under the 30% deal.
When exactly this revenue share change was made is unclear, but it doesn’t seem to be a new developement, given that services which have been on the Apple TV for some time now fall under these terms. The point is nearly moot though, when you consider how many offerings on the Apple TV are completely free of charge, or don’t offer in-app subscription options.
Based on the success of Apple’s exclusive HBO Now partnership, however, it’s possible that future channel additions could impement a similar system that allows users to purchase subscriptions through their Apple IDs. This deal could also help Apple secure more content providers for its upcoming digital television service.
Reports regarding an Apple web-based TV service began to circulate in February of this year, with more details emerging last month. A new report from The Street now claims that Apple and Disney are currently in talks over what specific Disney-owned channels will be available on the service. It’s worth noting that Disney CEO Bob Iger is also on Apple’s Board.
The MLB.com At Bat app for iPhone and iPad gets a big update today in time for Spring Training bringing Spanish language support, new features, and all the details on what content will be available. Most of the app has also been redesigned including all new UI’s for team pages, scoreboards, and the newsreader.
Also new in the app for version 8.0.0 and 2015:
• New UI for all 30 team pages & the league-wide scoreboard (iPhone only)
• Player search expanded to include all active and historical MLB player cards (iPhone only)
• Re-designed UI for the newsreader (iPhone & iPad)
• Team-by-team statistical data filters (iPhone only)
• Native resolution to optimize At Bat for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus
• Easy access to every game with new team schedule navigation (iPhone only)
• Application available in Spanish language, requires device language set to Spanish (iPhone & iPad)
As for Spring Training content, here’s what you’ll get with the usual $2.99/month or $19.99/year subscription:
Watch live streaming of more than 200 available Spring Training games with an MLB.TV Premium subscription (iPhone, iPad, select Android phones and tablets, Kindle Fire, Fire Phone)
Listen live to available Spring Training radio broadcasts (all)
Multi-platform live audio access for At Bat Premium subscribers (portable to Mac or PC with a valid MLB.com account)
Universal support for At Bat Premium subscribers, with accessibility on iPhone, iPad and other supported smartphones and tablets
Track batter-by-batter action for every Spring Training game (all)
Comb through sortable batting, pitching and fielding statistics (all)
Stay on top of breaking news, schedules, interactive rosters and player stats for every team (all)
Customize At Bat’s home screen to feature your favorite team (all smartphones)
Access to a video library archive, searchable by player, team or keyword (all smartphones)
Classic games video archive, featuring dozens of baseball’s most legendary games (all)
The new push notifications feature will allow you to get notified for a number of different activities within the app such as music that’s being shared with you, subscribers to your playlists, new followers, and more. You’ll also be able to select which notifications you’d like to receive if you, for example, only want to know when users share new music with you and not every time someone subscribes to one of your playlists.
The app also includes “various UI improvements and minor bug fixes” in the latest release.
– Push Notifications. Get notified on your mobile device about the activities of your choice, such as music shared with you, new followers, subscribers to your playlists and more.
– Various UI improvements and minor bug fixes.
Up from the previous free 7-day trial offered by the service, Beats Music now offers a “no strings attached trial” for 14 days to all users. Most notable in the update, however, is the fact that the service is slashing pricing from $119.88 a year to $99.99/year:
We’ve dropped price of our yearly subscription to $99.99, down from $119.88.
The service will continue to charge $9.99/month for users not purchasing a yearly subscription. The Beats Music website FAQ has been updated to reflect the new pricing and also continues to list $15/month family plans and extended free trials offered to AT&T customers.
Apple also confirmed today that it will continue to operate Beats Music as a separate service including Android and Windows phone apps.
Version 2.1.0 also includes “tons of bug fixes so the whole experience runs smooth as silk.”
What’s New in Version 2.1.0
● We’re stoked to announce that our no strings attached trial has been extended to 14 days to ensure everyone gets ample time to explore the full Beats Music experience.
● We’ve dropped price of our yearly subscription to $99.99, down from $119.88.
● To top it off, we pushed tons of bug fixes so the whole experience runs smooth as silk.
Like it did last year after inking a partnership with Major League Baseball, T-Mobile is once again offering free access to the MLB At Bat apps on iOS and Android. Tmonews points us to official confirmation from a T-Mobile support employee:
“UPDATE: As the official sponsor of Major League Baseball, we will be offering MLB At Bat 14 to our customers for free starting May 1 through the entire regular season! With our unlimited data and nationwide 4G LTE, you can enjoy all the great features MLB’s At Bat has to offer!”
That’s instead of paying for one of several MLB subscriptions that grants access to the app starting at $2.99 monthly or $20 for the entire season. There’s no word from T-Mobile with the official details yet, but we’d imagine customers will get access to all the live games and content apart from premium features available to $115/per year MLB.TV Premium subscription.
Google announced today on its Chrome blog that Major League Baseball is adding support for its $35 Chromecast streaming stick through the MLB At Bat app for Android and iOS. That means that users with the app and an MLB.TV Premium subscription will be able to stream live and on-demand video content from the app (or from a browser tab in Chrome through MLB’s site) to a Chromecast connected TV. You’ll also be able to use the phone or tablet you’re streaming from as a second-screen experience to “check scores, stats and news” while watching the game on the bigger screen: Expand Expanding Close
Microsoft is launching a cheaper ‘Personal’ Office 365 subscription today that will give you access to the cloud services and mobile apps for $69/year or $6.99/month opposed to the $99/year Home subscription. The new Personal subscription only provides access for one Mac (or PC) and iPad (or tablet) instead of the 5 PC or Macs and 5 tablets you get with a Home subscription.
The Office 365 subscription gives you access to full editing features in Microsoft’s recentlyreleased suite of Office apps for iPad, but also access to desktop and online versions of Microsoft’s Office apps, 7GB of cloud storage, and 60 minutes of Skype credit a month.
In case you missed it, Microsoft finally released its suite of Office apps for iPad today with the introduction of standalone Word, PowerPoint, & Excel apps in the App Store. The Office app for iPhone remains the same apart from dropping the requirement of a 365 subscription (it’s now free for all!), but the new iPad versions of the Office apps WILL require an Office 365 subscription to create or edit documents. So, if you plan on using the Office apps on your iPad in the future, you’ll want to take advantage of a big discount on 365 subscriptions currently on Amazon.
Normally $99/year or $10/month, you can grab a 1 year Office 365 Home Premium subscription for $67.15 with free shipping. That’s a savings of $32.84 (33%) and gets to an access code for 5 Macs or PCs with access to all Office 365 app and services. That includes 20GB OneDrive storage for each for up to 4 household member, 60 minutes of Skype calls per month and all the apps: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, and Access.
Update: The WWE Apple TV app is now live for users in at least the US and Canada.
Following rumors back and forth regarding the new WWE network launching today, the company has just announced that the service will be available to Apple TV users. WWE confirmed to us in a statement that the Apple TV app will arrive today.
The Apple TV app will provide access to all 12 live WWE Pay-PerView events including WrestleMania, original programming from the network like reality shows and documentaries, as well as 24/7 programming from WWE and a ton of on-demand content.
The update appears to have hit Apple TVs (at least in the US or Canada) with the ability to access the network and purchase subscriptions. The subscription-based WWE network allows users to sign up for service directly within the Apple TV app using an iTunes account. The company notes that subscriptions purchased through Apple TV are “billed as a single charge of $59.99 (plus applicable tax) for the six month subscription period.” Expand Expanding Close
In case you hadn’t heard: BlueStacks, the company with around 10M+ using its technology that brings Android games to PC and Mac, has recently been working on a new dedicated Android gaming console that aims to compete with OUYA and others in the space. It’s yet to launch, and up until today its big differentiator has been its $6.99/per month subscription model, but today it becomes the first to bring iOS games to the TV.
We spoke to John Gargiulo from BlueStacks who told us a little more about the announcement and how the company will bring iPhone and iPad games to the GamePop platform using its ‘Looking Glass’ technology. It’s also announcing its first major partner from the iOS developer world, and it happens to be creators of the hugely popular Fieldrunners series, Subatomic Studios. Expand Expanding Close
The updates to the app’s UI are most noticeable in a “new, cleaner look for sliding side navigation.” (as pictured to the right)
What’s New in Version 2.2
– Find People. New feature makes following friends and artists easier than ever.
– Labels. Search for a record label to find its top albums and artists.
– Various minor bug fixes and UI improvements, including new, cleaner look for sliding side navigation.
T-Mobile is currently offering 30 days free access to a number of networks including FOX news and Associated Press, Saturday Morning TV, Campus Insiders & ACC Digital Network, but $12.99 a month will get you access to the following:
• Live and On Demand sports from ESPN Mobile TV, NBC Sports, and CBS Sports.
• Kids programming including the Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, Discovery and Animal Planet.
• Streaming news from ABC News Now, Bloomberg, FOX News and FOX Business.
• On Demand Primetime and Reality shows from ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC and more.
• Includes programming from ABC Family, MTV, Spike TV, Comedy Central, E! and VH1.
T-Mobile is also offering additional discounts on the packages when purchasing 90 or 180 day subscriptions and you’ll be able to subscribe to additional premium packs of content ranging from $5.99 to $7.99 per month that include: Crackle Movies, E!, TLC, The Style Network, Lifetime, PBS Kids, Nick JR, Discovery for Families, and more: Expand Expanding Close