Apple may be catching some flack for putting the pressure on Spotify to abandon its free music streaming, but Re/code reports Apple's upcoming streaming service may offer a few gratis tunes of its own.
While Apple will fund its streaming service (presumably the Beats Music relaunch) through paid subscriptions, it does plan on offering a free trial period of up to 3 months long, though it's reported Apple won't ever offer an unlimited free music tier like Spotify does.
The report also says that Beats Music is taking a page from Soundcloud's book by adding a feature that lets users upload their own music, a unique tool that could separate it from the rest of the music streaming service pack.
We may also see a new version of iTunes Radio that benefits from the addition of human DJs (including the popular BBC jockey Zane Lowe) as well as four producers from BBC Radio 1, according to Music Business Worldwide. An improved radio function could elevate Beats Music to better compete with Pandora.
Although Spotify's free streaming was intended to eventually lead users to paid subscriptions, only a fourth of its users actually pay for the service - a fate Apple's trying to avoid.
If the rumors prove true, we'll see the company credited for pushing the $0.99 DRM-free MP3 file also credited with putting a permanent price on streaming. Though Apple's reach may ensure that it has some level of success, Tidal's similarly ambitious efforts have thus far been fairly muted.