Apple Music and NBA Partner on New Playlist, Songs Will Be Featured in Game Highlights

Apple and the NBA today announced that they have partnered on a new Apple Music playlist, as noted by Bloomberg.


The report notes that the new Base:Line playlist will have about 40 songs with a hip-hop focus. The songs will also be available through the NBA's app and website, and will be featured in game highlights shared on social media.

Apple plans to refresh the playlist weekly, with the songs sourced from independent label UnitedMasters.


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How to Get Up to 6 Months of Free Apple Music Access This Holiday Season

Apple is offering up to six months of Apple Music for free to Shazam users, in what looks like a limited-time deal for the holdays.


First spotted by Macworld UK, the trial offer currently available appears to vary in length depending on where you're located and whether you've redeemed a free trial of ‌Apple Music‌ in the past.

However, if you're in the U.S., Canada, or the United Kingdom, then you should be able to get at least a month of free access out of it – and perhaps more – even if you've used an ‌Apple Music‌ free trial before. Here's how it works.

  1. Download the free Shazam app for iOS from the App Store.

  2. Launch the app on your iPhone or iPad.

  3. Swipe right to enter the Library screen, or tap the Library icon in the top-left corner of the screen.

  4. Tap the Try Now pane offering a free trial of ‌Apple Music‌ for a 'Limited Time.'

  5. Tap the Try it Free button.

  6. You'll be switched to the ‌App Store‌ to redeem a pre-entered code. Tap Redeem, and you'll be notified of the length of your free trial and the date from which you'll make your first monthly payment if you continue with the subscription.
If you're wary of over-running the free trial, put a date in your diary to remind you when to cancel it. For steps on how to cancel an ‌Apple Music‌ subscription, click here.


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Apple Pays $25 Million for Billie Eilish Documentary Headed for Apple TV+ Rather Than Apple Music

Apple has paid $25 million for the rights to a Billie Eilish documentary that will be shown on Apple TV+ and follows the 17-year-old singer-songwriter's life after the release of her debut album in March, reports The Hollywood Reporter.


According to the report, the film is directed by R J Cutler and produced in collaboration with Interscope Records, and covers moments between Eilish and her family, as well as behind-the-scenes peeks at public appearances. The project is expected to debut in 2020.

Notably, the film will reportedly be released on ‌Apple TV‌+ instead of Apple Music, which has previously been host to documentaries about musicians, like Taylor Swift's The 1989 World Tour (Live) and Ed Sheeran's Songwriter.

The decision could signal a broader shift in Apple's content plans so that all the company's original programming is released exclusively on its new TV+ video streaming service, rather than being divided across two platforms.

Earlier this year, Apple removed the TV & Movies category from the Browse section of the Music app and started linking out ‌Apple Music‌ programming from its TV app listings.

Apple Music-hosted video content, currently discoverable from the TV app

Apple already bundles ‌Apple TV‌+ with its ‌Apple Music‌ student plan, which costs $4.99 per month, so hosting all video content in the TV app would make sense. Apple is also considering bundling ‌Apple Music‌, ‌Apple TV‌+, and its Apple News+ subscription service as early as 2020, according to Bloomberg.

Eilish kicked off Wednesday's inaugural Apple Music Awards with a bespoke performance based on her debut album When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? The singer was also awarded ‌‌Apple Music‌‌'s Album of the Year as the most streamed album of 2019, and Songwriter of the Year, which went to both her and her brother FINNEAS.


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Watch Now: Apple Live Streaming First Ever Apple Music Awards With Billie Eilish Performance

Apple is kicking off its first ever Apple Music Awards show with a live stream that's set to start at 6:30 p.m. Pacific Time or 9:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

The live stream can be watched through the Apple Music service on the iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, or Mac. Apple's event is being held at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus, and will see Billie Eilish performing live. Earlier this week, Eilish invited fans to sign up to attend the show on Apple's campus.


Eilish's performance will celebrate Apple's music awards, with Apple having announced winners on Monday. Eilish was named Apple's Global Artist of the Year, as well as Songwriter of the Year with her brother Finneas.

Apple named Lizzo the Breakthrough Artist of the Year, and the Song of the Year was "Old Town Road" by Lil Nas X. Each winner is receiving an Apple-designed award featuring a custom silicon wafer suspended between a polished sheet of glass and an aluminum body.


Aside from Eilish's performance, there's no word on what to expect from the ‌Apple Music‌ Awards, so those interested should catch the show live.


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Apple Music Award Design Features Apple’s Custom Silicon Wafer

The inaugural Apple Music awards take place tomorrow at the Steve Jobs Theater in Apple Park, and in typical Apple fashion, the company has designed a series of unique vinyl-inspired awards to be presented to the winners.


Each award features a polished sheet of glass and a machined and anodized aluminum body, between which is suspended Apple's custom 12-inch silicon wafer – the same chips that power the company's iPhones and iPads, and included in the commemorative design as a "symbolic gesture," says Apple.
The wafers start as a perfect 12-inch disc of silicon with nanometer level flatness. Copper layers are deposited and patterned by ultraviolet lithography to create connections between billions of transistors. The result of this multi-month process, before it is sliced into hundreds of individual chips, is stunning and distinctive. In a symbolic gesture, the same chips which power the devices that put the world’s music at your fingertips sit at the very heart of the ‌Apple Music‌ Awards.
The ‌Apple Music‌ Awards will kick off with a bespoke performance from Billie Eilish, whose full-length debut album WHEN WE FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? was the most played album on ‌Apple Music‌ this year.

Eilish will be awarded ‌Apple Music‌'s Album of the Year as the most streamed album of 2019, with more than a billion streams on ‌Apple Music‌. Billie will also receive the award for Songwriter of the Year, which will go to both her and her brother FINNEAS.

Also during the event, the Breakthrough Artist of the Year award will be presented to Lizzo, while the Song of the Year award will go to Lil Nas X, for the track "Old Town Road."

This ‌Apple Music‌ Awards will be streamed live around the world on Wednesday, December 4 at 6:30 p.m. PST. More information on the ‌Apple Music‌ Awards is available in the Apple Newsroom.


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Apple Testing ‘Apple Music for Business’ Plans at Retailers Like Harrods and Levi’s

Apple has been trialing a new version of Apple Music, dubbed ‌Apple Music‌ for Business, which will provide retail partners with access to streaming music for their stores. The company has been testing out ‌Apple Music‌ for Business for the last six months (via The Wall Street Journal).

Apple is partnering with PlayNetwork Inc. for the project, which specializes in providing music for commercial use by handling licensing and operating the service for Apple. In turn, Apple contributes by creating hundreds of unique playlists for each client.

Image via Harrods/WSJ

Special business contracts must be made to use certain pieces of music in retail areas because of the high cost of licensing fees. PlayNetwork tackles these issues for clients such as Starbucks and Estée Lauder.

In these retail spaces, there are currently a few streaming services that offer business contracts for retailers, including Soundtrack Your Brand (formerly Spotify Business), Sirius XM Holdings, and more. These services cost between $25 to $35 a month per retail location.

‌Apple Music‌ for Business will now be a player in this space, but there is no indication yet as to how much Apple will charge for its service. In its six months of operation, Apple has landed 25 clients, which are estimated to deliver music to more than 10,000 store locations, including Apple's own retail stores.

One client includes Harrods in London, which had its own custom "Harrods Playlist" built by Apple. The retailer advertises this list of classical, ambient, and electronic music on screens in its stores, which users can search for and listen to in the consumer version of ‌Apple Music‌.
“We were captivated by their proposition that we could have our brand reflected in our own curated playlist,” said Guy Cheston, Harrods’s director of partnerships.

‌Apple Music‌ for Business has so far focused on retail chains with 100 stores or more. But it plans on expanding into small and midsize businesses.
On the regular version of ‌Apple Music‌, the company just launched a "Replay" feature, which provides subscribers with a way to track the artists, albums, and songs they listen to the most every year. This has been a long-awaited feature on ‌Apple Music‌, and one that many of the service's rivals, like Spotify, have been doing for years.

‌Apple Music‌ still trails behind Spotify in terms of paid subscribers, with 60 million paid subscribers as of June 2019 compared to Spotify's 113 million Premium subscribers as of September 30, 2019.


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Bloomberg: Apple Considering Bundling Apple Music, TV+, and News+ as Early as 2020

Apple is considering bundling its subscription services as early as 2020, including Apple Music, Apple TV+, and Apple News+, according to Bloomberg.


The report indicates that Apple has included a provision in its contract with Apple News+ publishers that permits Apple to bundle News+ with its other services if it desires. The monthly price of the bundle would be lower than the cost of paying for each service separately in a bid to attract more subscribers.

Apple is already experimenting with at least one services bundle. Last month, the company began offering free access to Apple TV+ to students who subscribe to Apple Music. The offer is available for a limited time only.

The report goes on to cite "some media executives" who said the amount of money they have received from Apple News+ so far has been less than expected. On the other hand, some executives are pleased with the service so far, including Los Angeles Times executive editor Norm Pearlstine.


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Apple Music Gains New ‘Replay’ Playlist With Your Top Songs Played in 2019

Apple Music was today updated with a new feature called Replay, which is designed to allow ‌Apple Music‌ subscribers to take a look at the music that they listened to most in 2019.

Available on the web, in the Mac Music app, and the Music app on iOS devices, the Replay feature aggregates top songs of the year, while also providing playlists for past years too.


Playlists are available for every year that an ‌Apple Music‌ subscriber has had the service, dating back to 2015. Replay playlists can be added to the ‌Apple Music‌ Library so they can be streamed right alongside other playlists and shared with others.


According to TechCrunch, Replay will continue to be updated throughout the year, changing and evolving as a person's musical tastes and interests shift.


Apple plans to update the Replay playlist each Sunday with new songs and data insights to reflect each person's current listening activity.

‌Apple Music‌ has never offered an aggregated year-end playlist with song data, something that Spotify has provided for years with its Wrapped experience. Apple now has an equivalent feature, and one that is perhaps more useful given the fact that it's updated on an ongoing basis.


‌Apple Music‌ subscribers can access Apple Music Replay on the web and add the playlists to iOS or Mac devices. Replay should also be available in the iOS and Mac Music apps without the need to use the feature on the web, but it's still in the early stages of rolling out and not available on every platform yet.


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‘The A-List: Country’ is the Next Apple Music Playlist to Receive a Name Change, Now ‘Today’s Country’

After updating its "The A-List" playlists for genres like alternative and hip-hop, Apple Music has now changed "The A-List: Country" to "Today's Country." This playlist will essentially be the same, keeping track of all of the latest songs coming out of the country music genre, updated every day, while simply ditching "The A-List" moniker that has been around essentially since ‌Apple Music‌ launched in 2015.


Apple began a large-scale playlist rebranding earlier in 2019, switching "The A-List: Dance" to "danceXL," "The A-List: Hip-Hop" to "Rap Life," "The A-List: Alternative" to "ALT CTRL," and "Best of the Week" to "New Music Daily." One of the few remaining playlists to retain the "A-List" branding is for the pop genre, which now has a simple "A-List Pop" title.

More niche sub-genres are still using the original A-List name style, like Bollywood, K-Pop, Classical, Mandopop, and Russian Hip-Hop. Apple has also launched brand-new playlists this year, like the Shazam Discovery Top 50, which is powered by shazams made around the world to highlight up-and-coming songs and artists that users are discovering any given week.


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Subscribers to Apple Music’s $4.99 Monthly Student Plan to Get Apple TV+ ‘for Free’

Subscribers to Apple Music's $4.99 student plan will get access to Apple TV+ at no additional charge when the streaming video service launches on November 1.


First spotted by 9to5Mac, the bundle deal was revealed in an Instagram Story by "Dickinson" star Hailee Steinfeld and later shared on the official ‌Apple TV‌ Instagram account.

Steinfeld's announcement is short on detail and simply reveals that ‌Apple Music‌ student subscribers will be able to access ‌Apple TV‌+ "for free" when the service launches this Friday, so we don't yet know if this is a time-limited offer or a permanent deal. We also don't know if it will include the Family Sharing feature that comes with all standard ‌Apple TV‌+ subscriptions and allows six members of a family to access TV+ content from the one subscription.

If it is a permanent deal, then it sounds very competitive – ‌Apple TV‌+ costs $4.99 per month alone, so offering students access to the ‌Apple Music‌ catalog as well as all ‌Apple TV‌+ originals for a combined $5 monthly fee would be a big draw.

Earlier this month, the Financial Times reported that Apple was in discussions with record labels about bundling ‌Apple Music‌ and ‌Apple TV‌+ as part of a "super-bundle of media content" for one flat monthly rate.

Again, it's not clear if this student-only offer is the first official "super-bundle" of its kind, but we'll update this article as soon as we learn more.

To clarify, ‌Apple Music‌ costs $9.99 per month for individuals in the United States, with a $4.99 tier for students and a family plan for $15 per month. ‌Apple TV‌+ will cost $4.99 per month and this tier also supports Family Sharing, so up to six members of a family can access content using the one subscription.

In addition, Apple is offering a free one-year subscription to customers who purchase any iPhone, iPad, ‌Apple TV‌, iPod touch, or Mac as of September 10 and later.


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