Apple Music streaming service will have social features, possibly an extended free trial

Return of Ping? Not quite, but it seems Apple wants musicians to build connections with users

Beats Music

Beats Music is about to be transformed, and it's widely expected that Apple will unveil its new streaming music subscription service at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) next month. And more details keep trickling in.

For example, the name? 9to5Mac reports that it's likely to simply be called "Apple Music," which maintains the general approach used by Beats Music and puts the brand front and center - much like the Apple Watch does. Makes sense.

The report also claims that Apple intends for the service to have a social component - but before you fully roll those eyes expecting another failed experiment like iTunes' Ping, it's purportedly only designed for artists. It'll let them share media, concert updates, and the music they like in an effort to better connect with users.

Another recent report from Recode, meanwhile, says that Apple Music is likely to launch with a free trial that could be quite extensive - as much as three months, if the record labels play ball. Otherwise, it may just be a month, but at least it'll let users get a taste for Apple's take on the streaming service.

We've already heard that Apple won't have unlimited free streaming as an ongoing feature, but that report says that Apple may allow artists to share selected free songs as desired. That sounds like it fits in nicely with the social element noted by the 9to5Mac report.

Additionally, iTunes Radio will apparently be revamped with human-programmed stations, including one by Zane Lowe, which Apple hired away from BBC Radio 1. They've apparently grabbed a few notable producers from the station, as well, which should help them adapt quickly to the new approach.

WWDC 2015 kicks off in early June, and we'll be bringing you all the latest news, of course. Stay tuned for more as it comes.

[Sources: 9to5Mac, Recode]