SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- At 10:00am today, Apple will launch its streaming music service called Apple Music. It's the latest in an ongoing change in how we listen to music.
The streaming music trend has been gaining momentum for nearly a decade.
"Streaming has really become the way that people are using a lot of their music these days. We see iTunes sales falling, we see the buying individual songs is going away," CNET News Executive Director Ian Sherr said.
Subscribing to a music service lets you play unlimited tracks for a flat monthly fee.
"I used to buy music track by track, but it's really inefficient and quite frankly, I'm a millennial. I don't have that much money," Spotify Premium subscriber Elizabeth Boykin said.
Some services are free, supported by ads. Apple is offering a free trial.
"And then after three months, they're going to charge you. It's one of the big differences between Apple and a lot of the other people out there is they don't have a free option," Sherr said.
But Apple is entering a crowded space. Some of the other companies streaming music have been doing it for a long time, and their customers would need a good reason to switch.
"I use Spotify because it's simple to use," Boykin said.
Boykin pays for Spotify Premium, the same $10 a month as Apple. It lets her build and share playlists over Facebook, something Apple would have to do to win her over.
"They would have to really be able to integrate it into the platform that my friends are using because that's what makes music fun and social," she said.
And then there's Bay Area-based Pandora. For half the price of the others, it builds the playlist for you.
"It's really a good way for me to get a large range of music without having to do too much work," Pandora subscriber Daphne Li said.
In a statement, Pandora welcomed the competition from Apple, saying it simply reinforces their belief that there's healthy consumer demand for these types of services.
But one person wasn't so happy.
Taylor Swift almost took her hits off of Apple Music in a dispute over royalties.
Swift isn't on Spotify, and it turns out having music the other guys don't could become the real competition.
"Like HBO and Netflix have now, where there's some stuff that's only available on HBO and some stuff that's only available on Netflix," Sherr said.
iPhone users will need to update to the latest operating system to get Apple Music. The company is also releasing it as an app for Android.
Apple Music streaming service launches at 10:00am this morning
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