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Apple still in licensing talks to complete Apple Music library - report

Even after making Apple Music public during Monday's WWDC keynote, Apple is still negotiating some important music licenses for the streaming service, a new report says.




While the company has the rights to Taylor Swift —who infamously pulled her catalog from Spotify —it is however missing major artists like The Beatles, and working to secure more content, a source told Bloomberg Business. Apple is promising to have over 30 million songs, but it remains to be seen whether the Apple Music catalog will ever approach parity with the iTunes Store, which has over 37 million tracks.

Catalog size is typically considered one of the most important metrics for a streaming service, since listeners need something that can replace a local library or at least provide access to favorites.

Apple Music is due to launch on June 30 for iOS, Mac, and Windows, with Android and Apple TV introductions coming sometime this fall. Apple could conceivably secure more licenses by the end of the month.

The Beatles, however, have been notoriously resistant to putting their music on any streaming service. It was considered a major event when the band appeared on iTunes, marking the first time its catalog was available digitally anywhere —Apple launched a substantial marketing campaign, including ads, a press event, and in-store promotions.

Content may not be the only dictator of whether Apple Music succeeds. The service has no free tier for its on-demand content, unlike Spotify, which has the vast majority of its over 60 million customers on ad-based subscriptions. People who don't pay the $10 per month Apple is asking for will only be able to listen to Beats One, a radio station curated by celebrity DJs in New York, London, and Los Angeles.