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Report: Apple plans to undercut Spotify with $5 Beats Music

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Beats
Apple is still figuring out what to do with Beats Music

According to a report on Monday, Apple is plotting a Beats Music price cut, which would see the subscriptions to the streaming service sliced in half.

Recode believes Apple is haggling with music industry executives to review its terms in order to offer Beats Music for $5 (around £3) a month, rather than $10 (£6).

The report claims Apple wants to reduce the price of the service to $60 a year, which it says is what heavy iTunes users spend on buying digital music every year.

If Apple gets its way with the reported plan, which seems unlikely to impress record labels, a $5 tariff would give Apple a significant advantage over Beats’ key rival Spotify, which charges $10 a month.

Apple inherited Beats Music when it paid $3 billion to acquire the headphones company. Beats has struggled to make an impact since the streaming service launched in the United States, with reports claiming Apple plans to drop it completely and roll it into iTunes Radio.

Today’s report may reveal the true nature of Apple’s plans.

The news comes as Spotify revealed its new Family plan, which allows subscribers’ family members to sign up for a reduced rate of $5 a month.

Should a price war among the streaming services begin, it would be great news for the consumer, but very bad news for artists, whom already struggle with the limited income from streaming services.

Are you happy with paying $10 a month for premium, unlimited, ad-free access to practically every song you’ve ever loved, knowing you're contributing to artists' pocket books? Or do you think it’s only worth a fiver? Share your thoughts below.

Read more: iTunes Radio vs Spotify

Prem Desai

October 21, 2014, 8:28 am

I don't think the contribution to the artists is at the forefront in people's mind - they'll be more interested in getting value for money or quality of service. That's just human nature.

It's not that I don't care about the artists - it just that what they get paid is not made available to us by the record companies. So, in fairness, it's up to them to negotiate a better deal for themselves with the record companies, which in turn will dictate the price of streaming services, not Apple.

I subscribe to Spotify. I appreciate their collection of songs. I do like the fact that you can download music to your device and that it works on just about every platform/device I own (iOS, android, windows, sonos, etc).

For me to jump ship, Beats would have to at least match Spotify's collection of music and it's flexibility.

If Apple ever introduced any element of iTunes into the equation, then the answer would be never if if they were giving it away for free.

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