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Apple to launch music streaming service

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Apple reportedly plans to announce the launch of a new streaming service during its developers' conference next week. (Tweet This)

The new service would cost users $10 per month, similar to rates charged by streaming competitors Spotify and fledgling Tidal. Apple's offering would come as paid downloads on its iTunes music platform feel pressure from streaming.

Apple was widely expected to enter the streaming space after it acquired Beats Music for $3 billion last year.

Scott Mlyn | CNBC

The Wall Street Journalwhich first reported Apple's streaming plans Monday, citing sources—said Apple sells about 80 percent of music downloads worldwide. But it has yet to take a large chunk of business in streaming, a growing mode of listening.

Spotify offers a free, ad supported membership as well as tiered payment plans. The platform has gained traction in recent years, running up a valuation of at least $8 billion and boasting more than 60 million users worldwide.

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On top of Spotify and Tidal, Apple would have to compete with Internet radio Pandora in an increasingly crowded space.

Apple hasn't yet sealed deals with three major labels, including Warner Music Group, which might represent a roadblock to the new venture, the Journal wrote, citing sources.

Spotify and Tidal also charge their users $10 a month, but Spotify offers a 50 percent student discount while Tidal offers a HiFi version of its service for $20.

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The launch of the streaming service will involve extensive promotion and a free trial period.

Pandora shares closed slightly lower on Tuesday, a day after the reports surfaced.