In case there was still any lingering doubt that Apple will announce a new music streaming service at its World Wide Developers Conference tomorrow, it looks like we just got a firm confirmation, courtesy of Sony Music CEO Doug Morris.
“It’s happening tomorrow,” Morris said Sunday, when asked about the service, during a talk at Midem, a music industry conference in Cannes, France, according to multiple reports.
The confirmation comes after weeks of rumors about the Cupertino company’s Spotify competitor. The still unnamed streaming service will have two tiers: a free tier of curated stations and original programming that is more of an expansion of Apple’s existing iTunes Radio service, and a $10/month paid tier that will offer on-demand music, similar to Spotify, according to a recent report.
Apple is said to be in the midst of negotiations with record labels — including Sony, Warner Music and Universal Music — who, as of last week, had yet to sign off on agreements with Apple, though industry sources have reportedly suggested deals are all but inevitable.
Morris said he believes changes in music streaming services signal “the beginning of an amazing moment for our industry,” Billboard reported. The Sony CEO also praised Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine The Sony CEO also praised Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine, who joined Apple after the company’s $3 billion acquisition last year. Morris also said he believes Apple’s iTunes ecosystem, which has hundreds of millions of credit cards on file, gives the company an advantage over competitors.
“With Jimmy, Apple has the best music person you could ever meet, so he brings incredible knowledge to them, and what they have that gives them an advantage is $178 billion in the bank and 800 million credit card, and Spotify doesn’t really advertise because they’re still not profitable,” Morris said. “My guess is Apple will advertise, that they’ll make a big splash. I think the result of this will have a halo effect on the streaming business. All the companies will benefit, a rising tide lifts all ships.”
Though the long-rumored streaming service already seemed all but guaranteed to many observers, an Apple partner confirming an unannounced product ahead of a launch is virtually unheard of for the notoriously secretive company. But still, most details about the service — like the pricing, partner labels and music offerings — remain unconfirmed for now. Apple’s WWDC keynote kicks off Monday at 10 a.m PT, Monday, when we’re likely to get answers to our remaining questions.