Apple takes on Spotify with the launch of 'Music'

APPLE has released Music, a streaming music service that also integrates social features and special radio stations.

The new service will be launched in over 100 countries on June 30. It will come to iOS - including iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch - as well as iTunes on Mac and Windows.

Android and Apple TV versions will launch in the autumn. The Music app for Android will be the first time that Apple has ever made an app for the rival music platform.

The service will cost $9.99 per month, or families can buy a subscription for up to six family members for $14.99, and Apple said that it would announce local pricing closer to launch. But it will be free for the first three months.

The new service was introduced by industry veteran Jimmy Iovine, who claimed that it integrated a 24/7 global radio station and new social ways to allow artists to connect to their fans. That is in addition to traditional streaming music services, like Spotify.

All of the new music features are integrated into the rest of iOS, Apple's mobile operating system, and can be accessed through its Music app. The songs can be started using the Siri digital assistant, including complex queries like "play the top song from May 1982", or "play songs from [the film] Selma".

Apple Music will let people stream all of the music on iTunes, Eddy Cue, Apple's head of internet services like Music and iTunes, said.

But in addition to those features, a special radio station will be added, known as Beats One. That effort will be led by Zane Lowe and will be based in New York, LA and London.

As well as those traditional radio services, the company is also offering curated playlists that wil allow users to listen to chosen music under headings like "indie rock" and "funk".

Daniel Ek, the CEO of Spotify, the main streaming music service that Apple is taking on with the app, was muted in his reaction. "Oh ok." he tweeted, shortly after the service was launched, before quickly deleting the tweet.

The new feature was launched at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, where it also revealed the new versions of iOS and Mac OS.