When Apple purchased Beats last year for $3.2 billion, and then promptly shuttered the nascent (albeit flailing) streaming service, it didn’t really make much sense. But their grand plan is starting to come together. According to The New York Times, Apple is now working with Beats to develop a streaming music service that will aim to compete with Spotify. And they’re using Beats’ top-notch executive team to make it happen: Trent Reznor will play a “major role” in the redesign, as will Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre. The new service, which as of yet does not have a name, will not offer a free tier like Spotify. Apple also apparently tried to get their per month price lowered to $8 from the $10 that has become the norm across the board, but they failed to work that out. Iovine is said to be “leading aggressive talks to secure prominent album releases that will be exclusive to Apple,” the growing pains of which we’ve presumably seen with Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and Earl Sweatshirt’s latest releases.
Finally, their existing iTunes Radio service will be revamped, possibly more along the lines of traditional radio with local programming. That’s why BBC Radio’s Zane Lowe came on board a few months ago. There’s no time frame on when the relaunch will occur, but it could make waves when it does.