Rumor Fact(ory): Apple’s will ditch Beats brand, offer social features to artists

Apple logo black canvasToday brings a fresh batch of rumors and sneak peaks into Apple’s forthcoming music service, as usual courtesy of 9to5Mac. Unnamed industry sources told the site that despite being based on Beats Music, the new platform is likely to be called Apple Music.

It is also expected to integrate social features similar to ones that Apple previously experimented with in the form of Ping. Ping launched in 2010 and allowed all iTunes users to follow each other and share music. In this new incarnation, Apple Music would let artists have their own pages on the service to serve as a hub of tracks, visual content, and tour information. Musicians will also be able to promote each other’s material. Based on the previous leaks of the iOS 8.4 beta, it seems that all of these social features have been dubbed Artist Activity. They can be disabled in the Restrictions menu.

This update is a nice bonus for the performers, since it gives them options for building cross-promotions and for connecting with fans. It’s also an angle than few other on-demand listening services offer; some have linked up existing social networks, but this development at Apple is a native feature. Giving artists this type of control over how they present themselves is another way Apple is positioning itself to have an edge over its competitors. It’s also a fun option for regular listeners. They’ll be able to comment on those artist posts, but they won’t be given their own profile pages to maintain.

Anna Washenko