Apple is in talks with popular music artists like Taylor Swift, Florence and the Machine to sign them up for its popular Beats music streaming service in the coming days.
The move comes not long after celebrity rapper Jay-Z launched his fully-owned Tidal music streaming service and signed up global artists like Madonna, Coldplay, Rihanna and Beyoncé on new deals.
Apple also seems to cash in on the waning popularity of freemium music streaming which had most artists crying foul over low royalties since last year. By offering subscriptions on exclusive content from popular artists, Apple would ensure increased revenue both for its music streaming service as well as for the artists.
However, users will most often think twice before switching over from free streaming music on the web to expensive subscriptions. By bringing in Taylor Swift, Apple would hope her global followers would be keener on subscribing than opting for free streaming elsewhere.
The news also coincides with another report which claims that digital music overtook CDs as the most popular platforms for music purchases globally for the first time ever in 2014.
With streaming services accounting for 32 per cent of global music revenues, digital music garnered revenue to the tune of $6.85 billion in 2014, overtaking revenues of $6.82 billion from sales of CDs and other physical formats.
Out of the total, subscription services generated a whopping $1.57 billion which was a major increase over the revenues generated in 2013 and is set to rise further in the coming years.
Subscribing to online music is more convenient for customers than carrying CDs and they promise a much better music quality, storage options and overall cost.
While Apple seeks to give the Beats streaming service a brand new face with exclusive content, other services like Spotify and YouTube are still widely popular and will take some real punch to go down. The music streaming industry is surely headed for some interesting turns in the year ahead.