Apple Music may launch exclusive social network for artists

Apple Music iOS 8.4
Apple Music iOS 8.4

Beats Music is getting rebranded "Apple Music" and adding a music-driven social network, according to a new report today.

No, this isn't a reboot of Ping, the ill-fated iTunes social network that closed in 2012. This is supposed to be a more exclusive social network not open to normal users.

Instead, this Apple Music feature is being called a "deep social networking integration for artists" by 9to5Mac's "briefed" sources.

It'll reportedly allow musicians to connect with followers and post track samples, photos, videos and concert updates.

Backed up by iOS 8.4 beta

Today's Apple Music rumors are backed up by iOS 8.4 beta leaks. A new setting lets users turn off "Artist Activity" within the beta. Now it makes sense.

The still unconfirmed Apple Music app is said to go beyond the confines of iOS 8.4. It's supposed to be made available for Androids and Mac too. A native Apple Watch app is also very likely.

We should note that while Beats Music is expected to be absorbed by Apple's Music app, the Beats brand won't be going anywhere. They're two very different things.

Apple is also reportedly still keeping iTunes Match and iTunes Radio despite the similarities with what Beats Music and, soon, Apple Music do.

Expect to hear an official announcement on June 8 during Apple's WWDC 2015 keynote, when iOS 8.4 is expected to launch and iOS 9 hints may be thrown around.

Matt Swider