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Apple To Relaunch Beats Music In June With No Free Tier, Lower Price

CUPERTINO, CA (Hypebot) – Ever since Apple acquired Beats for $3.2 billion, we've been waiting to see what they'd do with their music streaming purchase. There have been hints and leaks, but it now appears we'll finally find out this June.

Apple is planning to unveil a revamped Beats Music service within iTunes during its June Worldwide Developer Conference, according to several sources. Music curation and customization will be at the center of the new service, as it was in Beats Music.

The music service might have launched as early as next week, alongside Apple's highly anticipated smartwatch, according to 9-5 Mac. But the unveiling was delayed by the departures of key employees, along with technology integration issues between the two companies. Bobby Gaza, SVP of Technology at Beats, was among the recent departures.

$7.99 Monthly, No Free Tier Thanks To The Major Labels

Apple's new music service will come with a $7.99 monthly price tag, 20% lower than its competitors. But at the urging of executives at all three major labels, Apple's new music service will not offer a free tier, as does Spotify. "We want to accelerate paid subscription,” Universal Music head Lucien Grainge said at the Code/Media conference last month. “Ad-funded on-demand is not going to sustain the entire ecosystem of the creators as well as the investors.”

Apple's End Game

Senior Apple executive Eddy Cue and Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine have also been pursuing the labels that music “needs to get behind a paywall,” sources tell re/code. While Apple will likely keep it's iTunes Radio service free, labels forcing Spotify to significantly scale back its free music offering would level the playing field and help push users towards Apple.