*On Monday, Apple’s highly-anticipated launch of its new streaming music service, Apple Music, included a rap heavyweight who helped usher in a new era for the company.
Joining Apple CEO Tim Cook, Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine and Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor for the event was Drake, according to TheWrap.com. The rapper was on hand to discuss Apple Music’s Connect service, which reportedly allows artists to communicate with fans via a single interface combining social media updates from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, among others.
“This is something that simplifies everything for the modern musician like myself and the modern consumer like you,” Drake said Monday (June 8) at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.
With an official launch set for June 30, Apple Music will offer various items such as on-demand streaming, live radio, downloads and Beats 1, a 24-hour live radio component that will play music selected by DJs in London, New York and Los Angeles. The cost to use the service will be $9.99 per month and $14.999 per month for families, who will be allowed up to six users access to Apple Music.
Providing motivation for folks to get on board with Apple Music, Iovine assessed the state of music in 2015 as he labeled it as “a fragmented mess.”
“If you want to follow artists, there’s more confusion for that,” he said. “Can we build a bigger and better ecosystem, with the elegance and simplicity that only Apple can do? I’m going to introduce you to Apple Music.”
Reznor chimed in with his own commentary while highlighting Beats 1. In his eyes, “There needs to be a place where music can be treated less like digital bits but more like the art it is, with a sense of respect and discovery.”
In addition to Beats 1 and Connect, Apple Music will include a “For You” feature within its My Music section. According to Apple, the feature which offers artist recommendations and radio playlists curated by “the most talented music experts from around the world,” as well as access to “tens of thousands” of ad-free music videos.
With its acquisition of Beats Music and its parent company for $3 billion last year, The Wrap notes that Apple already has 303,000 streaming subscribers it will eventually migrate to Apple Music, the Wrap notes, adding that the new service will initially launch on iPhones, Apple Music will be available on Apple TV and Android phones in the fall.
The arrival of Apple Music marks the latest entrant into a competitive streaming music market that features Spotify, Pandora and the Jay Z-owned Tidal.
Capping off the Apple Music launch was a series of live performances that included The Weeknd’s debut of his new single “Can’t Feel My Face.”
To see Drake’s appearance at the Apple Music launch, check out the video below: