Apple Music Set to Bring Streaming & Downloaded Audio Together at WWDC

Apple is reportedly planning an overhaul of its increasingly popular Apple Music app for WWDC this June. The end-to-end update may include a new design, easier-to-use interface and new features.

Jordan O'Brien

Apple Music is reportedly set to get a major overhaul at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), taking place June 13-17, with the new user interface set to bring streaming and downloaded music closer together.

According to sources speaking to Bloomberg and 9to5Mac, Apple is looking to leverage the iTunes music service to bolster its Apple Music streaming service. Its user interface is also set to be completely changed, with a new cleaner, simpler look.

Citing “‘multiple sources familiar with the changes,” 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman says the “end-to-end overhaul” should be part of the WWDC proceedings in June, with Apple set to ditch the colorful aesthetics for a more monochrome design – with a black and white color scheme. The app will also leverage larger album artwork to enable simpler navigation.

Apple Music has been a relative success for the iPhone maker, but it has not been the runaway success that Apple had been hoping. The company still trails Spotify in the music streaming market, with many criticizing the company’s app for being overly complicated when compared to its competitors.

To make the design simpler, one of the changes supposedly on the cards is a redesigned ‘For You’ section, with Apple hoping to make it simpler to use to attract more users, while the ‘New’ tab is reportedly being replaced with a new ‘Browse’ tab.

Apple Music hit 10 million paying subscribers in just six months, which means it is faring far better than some other music streaming services on the market, such as Tidal. It’s still half the number of users paying for Spotify’s premium tier however and is significantly dwarfed when adding in the total number of active Spotify users, which stands at around 75 million.

Apple has been helped by its global reach, as the music streaming service launched in 100 countries on day one, as well as a steady stream of exclusives such as Taylor Swift. It’s expected that the service’s growth will slow down significantly however, despite some analysts saying that the company is poised to overtake Spotify by next year.

To combat that slowdown, the new Apple Music overhaul is being worked on by some industry heavyweights. Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and VP of Apple iTunes Content Robert Kondrk are reportedly working on the new app, with design guru Jony Ive also reportedly having heavy input.

While a new design will go so far at impressing potential customers, the company known for design isn’t resting all its hopes on a fresh lick of paint. 9to5Mac claims that a number of new features are also set to debut with the new app, including the addition of lyrics.

Despite reports suggesting that the app will make its debut at WWDC, the new app is not expected to land on the iPhone or iPad until the launch of iOS 10 in the fall.