Why TikTok could become Apple Music’s scariest rival

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2020 is the year everyone wants to be TikTok famous.
Everyone wants to be TikTok famous. In fact, TikTok could be the wave that crashes Apple Music's ship.
Photo: Aaron Yoo/Flickr CC

It’s the year 2020 and absolutely everyone is making a streaming service, including TikTok.

The budding social network is hard at work inking licensing deals for its upcoming music streaming service, Resso, that will compete against Spotify and Apple Music. TikTok owner ByteDance reportedly struck a deal with the agency Merlin, which represents tens of thousands of artists, paving the way for the company to launch its music app globally.

Shifting focus from being a video-sharing app to creating a music platform may seem like an odd move for TikTok. But after months of binging on TikTok videos, I’m convinced it could become the biggest threat to Apple Music and Spotify.

NBA teams up with Apple Music to showcase emerging hip-hop artists

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BASELINE
BASE:LINE keeps you plugged into up-and-coming hip-hop artists.
Photo: Apple

Apple is deepening its partnership with the NBA by teaming up to launch a global playlist on Apple Music to highlight independent hip-hop artists.

The new playlist, dubbed “BASE:LINE” (get it? Cause there’s a baseline in rap songs and on the basketball court), will be curated by Apple Music’s director of hip-hop and R&B Ebro Darden. New artists and songs will be added to the playlist every Thursday with the first edition being made available today.

Apple Music and its rivals dominate US music market

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Streaming services like Apple Music dominate the US music market
Apple Music is one of the main players in today's music industry.
Photo: Apple

Streaming music services such as Apple Music have completely taken over the music market, a new report from the Recording Industry Association of America makes clear.

The organization notes that streaming now accounts for a massive 80% of the music market in the United States. That’s up from a minuscule 7% a decade ago in 2010. In the first half of 2019, 61 million people in the US had streaming subscriptions.

How to get your end-of-year Apple Music Replay playlists

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alternative to voice memos
Check out your Apple Music listening habits.
Photo: YunHo LEE/Flickr Public Domain

What were you listening to most this year? Was it Lil Nas X’s Old Town Road, one of the catchiest songs of the whole year? Or were you — like Cult of Mac writer Luke Dormehl — only listening to music made before 1997, after which he claims everything got unlistenable? Or perhaps you were hooked on the inexplicably popular Coldplay?

If you did all your listening on Apple Music, then you can easily check your top 100 songs of 2019, and also other years past. You just need to check your Apple Music Replay playlists. Only it’s not quite as easy as you might have thought…

How to add your own music to the Mac’s Music app

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catalina's music app tape
Adding music to Catalina's music app is as easy as using iTunes.
Photo: Namroud Gorguis on Unsplash

In macOS Catalina, iTunes has disappeared. It’s been replaced by the new Music app, which is a version of the iOS Music app. You could never call iTunes “beloved,” but it did its job, and had plenty of power hidden inside its confusing and bloated interface. The Apple Music app, on the other hand, is rather basic. But it still lets you do one thing that remains impossible on iOS: You can add your own music to your library. And yes, it will then sync that music to your iDevices. Let’s see how.

Music licensing company takes aim at Apple Music for illegal streaming

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Music licensing company takes aim at Apple Music for illegal streaming
Apple reportedly didn't obtain the necessary license.
Photo: Stas Knop/Pexels CC

Apple stands accusing of breaking the US Copyright Act by streaming copyrighted songs through Apple Music without the right permissions.

The company Pro Music Rights (PRM) filed its complaint in New York on Wednesday. It describes unpaid royalties and ongoing infringement relating to a number of songs. PMR licenses a couple of million tracks, including works from artists such as A$AP Rocky, Wiz Khalifa, Pharrell, Gucci Mane, and others.

Spotify’s Tastebuds feature will show you what friends are listening to

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Spotify Premium update October 2018
Get your hands on the latest Spotify update today.
Photo: Spotify

Spotify is gearing up to add a new social feature to its apps that could give it another edge over Apple Music.

Prototype screenshots of an upcoming feature called “Tastebuds” were unearthed on Twitter this week. From the looks of it, Tastebuds will build off Spotify’s underlaying social networking features, giving users a new way to discover music through what their friends are listening to.

Apple Music offers up to 6 months of free music for the holidays

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Streaming services like Apple Music dominate the US music market
And it's open to existing subscribers, too!
Photo: Apple

Apple Music’s standard free trial offer is a generous 90 days. But, for the holidays, someone in Cupertino has decided to double this.

By using the Shazam app, would-be Apple Music subscribers can get a total of 6 months Apple Music for free. And you can even get some free months it if you’re currently, or have previously been, an Apple Music subscriber.