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Apple’s Music Festival To Stream Pharrell, One Direction, Disclosure

Apple will leverage its Apple Music streaming service and online Beats 1 radio station to broadcast performances of its ninth annual London music festival, renamed the Apple Music Festival this year to promote the company’s new Apple Music service.

The publicity could help Apple boost the take rate of its service, which research company MusicWatch said “could be higher.”

Pharrell Williams, One Direction, Florence + The Machine, and Disclosure are among the headliners at the even in London’s Roundhouse.

Performances during the 10-day event will be streamed live and on-demand around the world for free. The company’s Beats 1 radio station will cover the event live and broadcast backstage news, while the Apple Music Connect service will let music fans view photos or videos released by the artists at the event. Consumers can also watch the event in HD through Apple TV.
The Apple Music Festival, formerly called the iTunes Festival, runs Sept. 19-28.

Streaming the event could help Apple boost subscriptions to its new music services, which is being used by only 11 percent of iOS users, MusicWatch said. Forty percent of iOS users are buying digital downloads from iTunes, “suggesting [the] trial of Apple Music could be higher,” said MusicWatch managing partner Russ Crupnick. “That’s the disadvantage of not being the first mover in a market where very good services currently exist.”

Very few Apple Music users stopped using their existing online radio, audio on-demand or video-streaming services as a result of using Apple Music, he noted.

Almost two-thirds, or 64 percent, of current Apple Music users said they are extremely or very likely to pay to subscribe to Apple Music after their free trials end, yet 61 percent said they had already turned off the auto-renewal option in their iTunes account settings, he added.

In other findings, MusicWatch said:

  • Among people who tried Apple Music, 48 percent said they are not currently using the service.
  • A total of 28 percent of Spotify Premium customers also use Apple Music.
  • Only 11 percent of users of the Spotify Free ad-supported service and 6 percent of Pandora’s ad-supported service  are also using Apple Music.
  • 30 percent of Apple Music streamers are listening to Beats 1, and 27 percent use Apple Music Connect.