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Apple (AAPL) Launches Music Beta Website With Listen Now Tab (Revised)

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Apple (AAPL - Free Report) has relaunched its Apple Music beta website to add a Listen Now feature that replaces the For You tab from the standard Apple Music website. The interface allows subscribers to stream their favorite music from their Internet browser rather than installing iTunes or the separate Apple Music app.

Apple Music on the web lets Apple Music subscribers sign in to access their music libraries, playlists, personal mixes, and recommendations. Music content plays right in the web browser. So, the web experience makes Apple Music available on any device.

Notably, Apple made a web version of Apple Music available in September 2019, and the web experience exited beta in April 2020.

Beta Features and Updates on Apple Music Website

Listen Now was introduced in iOS 14, iPad OS 14, and macOS Big Sur betas and has now made its way to the browser version of Apple Music. It is similar to For You, featuring Top Picks based on usage habits, recently played songs, and automatic playlists like Favorites Mix and Chill Mix, and it is updated with new suggestions regularly.

Moreover, the iPhone-maker has also redesigned the beta Apple Music website that reflects the changes made in the latest versions of the Music app for iOS14 and macOS. The left taskbar icons have been redesigned and the app is filled with new artwork.

Apple Music on the web however does not offer certain features that can be found in Apple's dedicated Apple Music apps like the option to see lyrics for songs that are playing.

Music Streaming Growth Prospects Aplenty

The general release of Apple Music on the web comes as Apple Music plans to host Lady Gaga’s One World: Together At Home livestreaming concert. Donations will be given to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

Moreover, this Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) company has expanded the reach of its Apple Music platform to additional 52 countries in 2020. The expansion ramps up the global presence of Apple Music, which has 60 million subscribers, against market leader Spotify (SPOT - Free Report) , which has more than 120 million paid users but is available in fewer markets around the world. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Apple Music offers about 50 million songs on-demand, as well as live radio stations. The streaming service costs $10 per month. In comparison, Spotify has more than 60 million songs on its platform and offers subscriptions for $10 a month.

Spotify is benefiting from premium subscriber growth. Robust playlists are helping the company rapidly convert free listeners to paid subscribers. In second-quarter 2020, the audio streaming company reported 108 million premium subscribers globally, up 27% year over year.

While Spotify and Apple Music dominate the music streaming industry, the presence of other players like Amazon’s (AMZN - Free Report) Music services, Alphabet’s (GOOGL - Free Report) YouTube Music, ByteDance, Deezer, iHeartMedia, and SiriusXM has intensified competition in the rapidly growing music streaming space (subscription as well as Ad-based).

Per a Statista report, the music streaming market is expected to generate revenues of $12.4 billion in 2020. The figure is expected to rise to $15.5 billion at a CAGR of 5.7% between 2020 and 2024. Further, user penetration in 2020 is expected to be 14.6% and increase up to 6.5% by 2024.

Apple is focusing on services such as Apple Music, which debuted in 2015 at $9.99/month to bolster its sales with paid monthly and/or yearly subscriptions. Notably, Services (22% of sales) revenues grew 14.8% from the year-ago quarter to $13.16 billion, in third-quarter fiscal 2020.

In fall 2019, Apple Music rolled out New Music Daily to keep subscribers updated with the new songs released by popular artists around the world. Additionally, Apple also bought the Shazam app, which can identify any song that’s being played by name and artist.

(We are reissuing this article to correct a mistake. The original article, issued on August 12, 2020, should no longer be relied upon.)

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