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Team Apple Music pondering a new testament?
APPLE MUSIC OVERHAUL? REPORTS STREAM IN (UPDATE)

Word has it, following various reports, that Apple Music is due for a significant overhaul, to be announced at Apple's 6/8 Developers Conference (WWDC). It's expected that in addition to technical improvements that will make the service more intuitive and easily navigable, a huge advertising campaign will drive consumer awareness and, it's hoped, give a significant boost to subscriptions.

Apple's Robert Kondrk and Trent Reznor are said to be running point on the renovation of the service under Apple Music chief Jimmy Iovine and Apple's SVP of Internet Services Eddy Cue. It's believed that the streaming service and iTunes will be more integrated (they are currently in different mobile apps), addressing a key complaint of some users and reviewers.

Speaking of subscriptions, Apple has also rolled out a $4.99 monthly subscription offer for students (all higher education institutions are apparently available) in the U.S., various European territories, Australia and New Zealand, countering a similar option from Spotify

Apple recently announced it had hit 13m subscribers for the service, which launched last June. Its streaming plus online radio plus social (Apple Connect) formula was touted as a triumph of "curation," whereby users would be steered to cool new artists and songs. As Iovine told us at the time, he didn't want the service to be a mere "utility."

Some theorized at the time of the launch that Apple Music would be a "Spotify killer," but Daniel Ek's global streaming powerhouse has actually grown significantly in the interim; the arrival of a large competitor only heightened consumer interest in the platform, it seemed.

What's more, streaming charts from Spotify and other competitors—and Apple's own recent experience with the giant Drake exclusive, which saw the YMCMB/Republic megastar break all manner of streaming records—underscore that as with radio and retail, streaming is still driven by big artists and hit songs.

Apple has seemed to concede this in its recent spots for the service, featuring Taylor Swift and Drake. What other superstars will be seen pitching for it? Will "curation" take a backseat to an emphasis on the music consumers want? How will refinements in the technology serve the branding message? All eyes will be on Cupertino on the eve of Apple Music's first anniversary.

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