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June 07, 2015

Apple to announce streaming music service on Monday

Launch expected Monday at Worldwide Developers Conference

Apple will announce the launch of its streaming music service on Monday at the Worldwide Developers Conference, according to Sony Music CEO Doug Morris.

Morris, whose company figures to play a pivotal partnership role with Apple's service, said during an interview at Midem in Cannes that "it's happening tomorrow," VentureBeat reports.

“What does Apple bring to this?” Morris said. “Well, they’ve got $178 billion dollars in the bank. And they have 800 million credit cards in iTunes. Spotify has never really advertised because it’s never been profitable. My guess is that Apple will promote this like crazy and I think that will have a halo effect on the streaming business."

As subscription and freemium ad-supported services like Spotify, Pandora, Google Play Music, and Amazon Prime Music have cut into Apple's digital music download business, the company appears ready to embrace the shift in consumer habits toward streaming music.

Rumors surrounding the new service include a Soundcloud-like section in iTunes for content owners to upload free music for users, as well as a revamped iTunes radio featuring playlists curated by popular artists such as Pharrell Williams and Drake.

According to MacRumors, Apple is not expected to offer a free, ad-supported version of its service, however the company does plan to extend a free three-month trial to draw customers in.

Built on its existing subscription Beats Music service, the launch will take on major competition from user-friendly Spotify, whose estimated valuation of $8.4 billion is worth more than the entire U.S.-based recording industry, at $6.9 billion, according to Digital Music News.

A special event for the WWDC will be held Monday, June 8 at 1:00 p.m. EST.