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Floatin' Down Stream

Floatin’ Down Stream
by Gary Woods

Bringing up the rear at the Apple World Wide Developer’s Conference on June 8th at San Francisco’s Moscone Center was the announcement that they were bringing online a new streaming music service. For $9.99 per month for a single subscription of $14.99 per month for families up to 6 people can stream any and all of Apple’s 30 million title library.

Frankly it wasn’t much of a surprise the rumors were out there for a long time. There are other streaming companies of course like Spotify but the wrinkle that Apple added was they will feature a 24/7 live radio station called Beats 1 to be hosted by three DJs based in New York, Los Angeles and London respectively. This means that every listener around the world will hear the same handpicked songs, plus celebrity interviews including pop culture news and other little featurettes.

Another little wrinkle Apple introduce is called Connect which is a social networking feature that lets fans follow artists. To introduce the service Hip-hop star Drake was at the Conference to talk about how he’ll be using Connect to share snippets of his current album as well as behind-the-scenes photos of his life.

The thing that’s amazing to me is it seems like only minutes ago that Apple really invented the whole download music business for 99 cents a song and here they are saying “you don’t need to buy music anymore, we got ya’ covered.” It will be interesting to see whether this new streaming system puts a big hole in Apple’s music sales. With a track record like Apple’s it’s hard to bet against it but it does make me wonder.

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Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors and he is a Broker/Associate at Sotheby’s International Realty.