By Jonathan Davies

Apple has launched its own music streaming service and internet radio station, which also allows artists to share unreleased songs.

Launched at its bi-annual event, Apple Music makes recommendations using a computer algorithm which includes human curation.

Also including a music video library, it is likely to be a major competitor to Spotify, which has around 15 million subscribers. It comes shortly after Jay-Z and several other music artists launched another music streaming service, Tidal.

Apple's voice-controlled virtual assistant, Siri, will be used to allow users to request songs from a certain year, or film, or artist, without knowing the name of the song.

Former BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe will lead its online radio station, Beats 1.

The app will launch in 100 countries at the end of June, costing £6.50 per month - the same as Spotify.

Apple Pay

Apple also revealed that the UK will be the first country outside of the US to receive us of Apple Pay, its digital wallet service.

From next month, British shoppers will be able to wave their iPhone or Apple Watch over a contactless payment terminal.

Apple said users would be able to use Apple Pay at around 250,000 locations in the UK.

Dave Hobday, UK Managing Director of Worldpay, said: “For Worldpay, the roll out of Apple Pay in the UK is an exciting step in the evolution of contactless payments and heralds the future of retail. Apple Pay is essential for swiftly bringing secure and private mobile payments at scale to the High Street, providing shoppers with yet another quick and easy alternative to cash. Retailers who fail to adopt this new technology will quickly lose out to their savvier rivals.”