Apple Music finally passes Spotify in U.S. paid subscribers

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Apple Music
Apple Music beat its biggest rival in the U.S.
Photo: Apple

More Americans pay to listen to Apple Music than Spotify. The Swedish company had been ahead since the iPhone maker got into the streaming music business back in 2015, but Apple finally closed the gap. And its growth is continuing to outpace its rival in the US.

Spotify still has many more paid subscribers globally, however.,

Apple Music coming to Google Home devices [Updated]

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Save $30 on the Google Home smart speaker.
Coming soon to a Google speaker near you.
Photo: Google

Updated: Google  says this was the result of a bug, and it has “nothing to announce regarding updates to Google Home.”

 

Apple Music is on its way to Google Home devices. In the Google Home app for iOS devices, Apple Music is listed as a listening option. However, as of now, it can’t be linked with a Google Home device.

Apple’s streaming music service previously arrived on Amazon Echo devices in December. Between them, Google and Amazon make up the overwhelming majority of smart speakers.

EU may finally allow Apple to buy Shazam

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Shazam iPhone
The wait for Apple to acquire a popular music-identification app is almost over.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple has been trying to buy Shazam since last December, but the deal has been held up for months by regulators in the EU. That’s reportedly just about to change.

It’s likely Apple wants this music-identification app as part of its ongoing battle with Spotify.

Apple and Verizon begin an ‘exclusive partnership’ with music deal

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apple-music
Get an extended trial of Apple Music with your Verizon Unlimited plan.
Photo: Apple

U.S. telecoms try to lure new customers with free streaming services. Verizon has teamed up with Apple to offer half a year of Apple Music at no additional cost.

What’s even ore interesting is that the wireless provider calls this “just the first step in an exclusive partnership with Apple.”

Eddy Cue talks music, but Twitter can’t stop talking about his shirt

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worst-shirt-ever
Eddy Cue's pinkish untucked shirt struck a distracting off chord with many on Twitter.

During the part of the WWDC keynote where cool is most required, the Apple Music rollout, Eddy Cue took the stage in an untucked, salmon-colored shirt and proceeded to dance. Twitter gasped, laughed and even threw up a little as Cue extolled a new service that is supposed to be hip enough make us all dump Spotify.

Twitter followers streaming the Worldwide Developers Conference, already grumpy about the drawn-out opening, were tired and hungry when Cue and Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine took their turn onstage. Some feasted on Cue’s appearance.

“Eddy Cue is one undone shirt button away from getting kicked out of Margaritaville,” wrote Jessica Misener. “Eddy Cue is like everyone’s dad at a wedding, but if everyone’s dad at a wedding was 10X more excruciating,” wrote Guardian Tech.

Apple’s bold plan to convert casual music fans into streaming subscribers

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Apple needs no shelter, thank you.
Apple is hoping to move you from a music collector to a file-streamer.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Imagine clicking iTunes’ “Buy” button to purchase the latest record from Drake or Pharrell Williams, only to get a popup from Apple suggesting you’re behind the times.

That’s what might happen as Apple uses its massive consumer base to push streaming music on the masses, even going so far as prompting iTunes users to switch from buying songs to subscribing to a cloud service.

That sort of mid-purchase upsell is just one possible element of Cupertino’s strategy to shake up the music industry again, and the Apple streaming music plan just might be crazy enough to work.