Clothing brand LRG becomes Apple Music’s latest tastemaker

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Apple Music
The new LRG playlists on Apple Music have a little something for everyone.
Photo: Apple

Apple Music enlisted clothing company LRG to become the latest company to handpick songs for a new set of curated playlists.

LRG, short for Lifted Research Group, became popular for its street wear thanks to endorsements from some of the biggest rappers and R&B artists in the world. As you’d expect, its new playlists are highly influenced by those genres too.

Apple Music apparently isn’t as ‘intimate’ as Spotify

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Apple Music brand intimacy
How does Apple Music make you feel?
Photo: Apple

We make choices based on emotion and feelings can change on a whim. The best brands understand this as a science and if bonded closely with its customer base, can successfully influence its purchasing choices.

So the marketing team in charge of Apple Music may want to huddle up after a report on brand intimacy released today saw the music streaming service drop from its No. 1 spot from last year to No. 5.

Force Apple Music to play all songs at the same volume with Sound Check

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Sound Check evens out the volume of Apple Music songs.
Sound Check evens out the volume of Apple Music songs.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The song you’re listening to on your iPhone is a bit too quiet, so you adjust the volume. Perfect. Then the song ends, and the next one blasts your ears. You fumble your iPhone from your pocket and tap the volume down a notch or two.

Thanks, Apple Music. Why can’t you just play all the songs at the same volume? Obviously that’s what everyone wants.

Wait, what’s that? You can? How?

What we learned from Apple’s surprising earnings report

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Big pile of cash underneath an Apple logo.
Apple's giant pile of cash continues to grow.
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Wall Street received surprisingly better-than-expected news from Apple’s Q2 2019 earnings report today — and the stock is soaring in after-hours trading.

iPhone sales remain down, but pretty much every other facet of the company’s business is firing on all cylinders. Customers are falling in love with the iPad all over again. Services are booming. And Apple’s wearables business is now the size of a Fortune 200 company.

Despite plenty of doom and gloom from analysts over the last 12 months, Apple’s future is looking bright again.

Brace yourself for Apple’s next ugly earnings call

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Apple earnings
Apple's Q2 earnings are expected to be a bit of a downer.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Wall Street is anxiously awaiting Apple’s earnings report for the second quarter of 2019 that will be delivered on Tuesday, April 30. Apple’s stock value has risen about 30% this year even though iPhone sales are slowing.

Most analysts predict that nearly all of Apple’s numbers will be down compared to the same quarter last year, but there are few bright spots that could cause the company’s stock price to surge. After looking at the analysts’ numbers, we’ve found a couple of key areas to watch for.

Spotify storms ahead of Apple Music with 100 million paid subscribers

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Spotify app now playing screen
Are you a Spotify subscriber?
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Spotify has reported its financial results for the first quarter of 2019, revealing that it has passed 100 million paid users.

This gives Spotify around twice the number of premium subscribers as the last reported figures for Apple Music. However, Apple Music may still have more paid subscribers in the United States.

Today in Apple history: iTunes Music Store opens its doors

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The iTunes Music Store revolutionized the music industry.
The iTunes Music Store revolutionized the music industry.
Photo: Apple

April 28: Today in Apple history: iTunes Music Store launches April 28, 2003: Apple opens the iTunes Music Store, revolutionizing the music industry and digital distribution of content.

At a time when getting music online mostly means illegal downloads from pirate services like Napster, iTunes quickly proves that customers will pay for songs — provided the service is good enough.

Amazon could one-up Apple Music with new high-fidelity music tier

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Amazon Music
Amazon already has its own standard music streaming service.
Photo: Amazon

Amazon is reportedly in talks with some of the world’s largest music rights holders to launch a high-fidelity streaming service, costing around $15 per month.

Rumored to launch by the end of 2019, the service would offer a superior bit rate than many rivals. “It’s a better bit rate, better than CD quality,” a source told Music Business Worldwide. “Amazon is working on it as we speak: they’re currently scoping out how much catalog they can get from everyone and how they’ll ingest it.”

Beyoncé’s Lemonade album finally lands on Apple Music

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Lemonade
The lauded album arrives on Apple Music three years after its release.
Photo: Columbia

Update: Beyoncé’s acclaimed Lemonade album finally arrived on Apple Music — three years after its debut.

Originally dropped on April 23, 2016, Lemonade is the singer’s sixth studio album and second “visual album.” It was accompanied by a 65-minute film. This marks the first time all of Bey’s back catalog is available for streaming on Apple Music.