Apple to preload Beats Music on iOS early next year

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Apple has big ambitions for its new music streaming service.
Apple has big ambitions for its new music streaming service.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

You’ll soon have Beats Music on your iOS device whether you want it or not.

Apple is planning to bake the streaming music service into iOS in early 2015, according to The Financial Times. The integration could happen “as early as March,” which would line up with the possibility of a media event to announce the rumored iPad Pro.

Reports have already indicated Apple plans to rebrand Beats Music under iTunes, and the Times adds that the service will still be based on a paid subscription model. Last month, Recode reported that Apple was hoping to lower the price from $10 to just $5 per month, which would undercut competitors like Spotify and Rdio.

Beats Music is “part of a three-pronged music strategy for Apple,” according to today’s report. Apple plans to operate it alongside traditional downloads from the iTunes Store (which are slowing) and ad-supported streaming with iTunes Radio.

Apple has a long way to go before it can catch up with Spotify’s 10 million users. Beats Music is estimated to only have 110,000 subscribers, but preinstalling it on hundreds of millions of iOS devices would certainly give Apple a leg up in terms of potential reach.