Whether through streaming or downloaded for offline playback, Apple users will be able to take their music anywhere on any device, including Android coming this fall.
During the typical “one more thing” segment of Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced the Apple Music app.
Apple Music will give Chinese consumers access to artists like Eason Chan and Li Ronghao and iTunes Movies will offer “The Taking of Tiger Mountain“, a recent hit, for free for a limited amount of time, while iBooks has titles from local publishers.
Apple, like all global brands, has long recognized the huge potential of the Chinese market, with the nation’s growing middle class and rising income levels presenting major opportunities for the tech giant.
It was only on Wednesday that the iPhone maker decided to make their iTunes, Movies and iBook services available for Chinese users, as well. The resolution was announced through an official message that was posted on Wednesday, on the company’s official website.
Music files will not be the only ones that customers will have access to.
This fact will prove a massive challenge for the subscription-based Apple Music.
Apple’s iTunes Movies service can be used via the iTunes Store, and it allows Chinese users to buy or rent the latest Hollywood blockbusters and movies created by local studios such as Huayi Brothers, Bona, and 1905.
The new announcement is related primarily to customers, whose Apple ID is located outside the United States. Songs can be streamed for free (with ads) or at US$1.60 a month (without ads).
Apple Music will come at a price of 10 RMB per month, movies on iTunes will be available at 18 RMB to purchase and 5 RMB to rent, and books start at 0.5 RMB per unit. This is much lower than $10-$14 that the company charges in the U.S., or $15-$23 in the UK. “The biggest obstacle here isn’t if Apple will be successful, it’s what music artists will face, that streaming is the new thing, but that’s a whole other story”, he added.
The company is rushing to double the number of retail stores in the country by the middle of next year.