Apple Preparing To Stop Selling Music Through iTunes

There are indications, coming from Apple staffers who have leaked information, that the company is planning to shift their entire music business away from selling tracks to a streaming model founded entirely on their Apple Music platform.

If the reported move is true, it would herald the end of a chapter kicked off by Apple when they dragged the music industry kicking ands streaming into the digital era. Before iTunes made it possible to easily purchase music online, the most common digital music format was "stolen" - if former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was to be believed.

But Apple negotiated, or perhaps strong-armed, record companies to make their inventories available digitally, initially by locking down the ability to share music between lots of devices through their FairPlay DRM but eventually by making the music effectively DRM-free.

But the next revolution began in Sweden when Spotify popularised the idea of not owning music but simply streaming tracks when you wanted them. Reports suggest Spotify has about 60 million paying users at the moment with Apple Music having about half as many. Both camps are growing while sales of digital downloads are falling.

It's not hard to see a world where buying music remains a niche market. After all, people still buy CDs and vinyl has retained a loyal, but small, following. Apple is a business and while they can still turn a profit they will continue to sell music.

We'll get a better indication of Apple's timeline, if the rumour is true, when Apple releases a separate Apple Music app, in the same way as they have removed app management from iTunes - which is easily the company's worst piece of software.

Will you miss the ability to buy songs? Or have you moved to streaming all your music on demand already?

WATCH MORE: Tech News

Comments

    I would not like this, as streaming is to expensive for me. I much prefer to have my own music library that I have been building up for years. Maybe if the prices were affordable, or data got cheaper, but until then I dont think I would prefer streaming only.
    Current pricing means it would be equivalent to what, buying six songs a month? I dont spend that much on music....

      ... They do have free options.

      Not only that, you can have up to 5 people on the same Spotify account.

      In return, you can listen to basically any music that you feel like, anytime. I've discovered so much more music just because you have such a broad range of music available to you where you did not have the option to before (without pirating) without spending hundreds on various albums.

        Yeah I have tried the free ones, but the inability to skip, or pick what order i want bugs me. Also by expense, I also include data. Maybe if my family wants in it might be worth it, but for now not so.
        For me anyway.

      If you don't buy much music, then you are not their target audience. I used to buy an album a month, so for me a subscription saves me money. I'm spending $12 a month for access to the entire Spotify library compared to $16 for just one album. I have friends who consume even more music than I do and so Spotify saves them even more money each month.

        True, I don't consume much new music a year. But if iTunes goes away, then I have no music storing ability....

    I have also shifted all my music buying away from iTunes.

    Because... it’s now no cheaper than buying the CD, and that has no pain in the butt DRM, or vynil which usually comes with a download code for new releases anyway lol.

    Anthony, you use the word "that" far too unnecessarily.

    Most people do not actively serach for music of their tastes and that's why flat-rate service which feeds decent music has been growing. But if you are one of the people who have kept listening to music actively developing their own taste through their lives, you probably feel neither Spotify nor iMusic covers the depth of the particularity of your taste enough after trying their customization ability. Music has too many varieties to feed as a bundle for serious listeners. As one of music lovers, I hope Apple leaves us the option to purchase and own individual songs to keep pursuing our own music tastes.

Join the discussion!