Music News

About Apple Shutting Down the iTunes Music Store in a Couple of Years…

…yeah, no. Not gonna happen. At least not anytime soon.

This goofy story has roots in a report from Digital Music News:

Apple is now preparing to completely terminate music download offerings on the iTunes Store, with an aggressive, two-year termination timetable actively being considered and gaining favor.  According to sources to Digital Music News with close and active business relationships with Apple, discussions are now focused “not on if, but when” music downloads should be retired for good.

The story then talks about a 3-4 year timeline. So which is it? Two years or four?

The answer is “neither.”

Apple took the nearly unprecedented step of sending out a real human being to deny all this. Apple never comments on rumors. I quote:

“Not true,” said Apple rep Tom Neumayr.

Neumayr wouldn’t expand on that comment, except to make it clear that he was responding to both timelines proposed in today’s story from Digital Music News.

While streaming is going to one day be more profitable to Apple than selling downloads, iTunes is still the biggest music retailer in the world with revenues of more than $2 billion. People still buy a lot of downloads.

Two billion is a drop in the bucket for Apple to be sure and download sales have seen a steady decline for some time, but the iTunes Music Store is still hugely important to the music industry–too important to let it disappear. We’ll eventually move away from downloads, but they’ll be with us for a long, long time yet.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37880 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “About Apple Shutting Down the iTunes Music Store in a Couple of Years…

  • also, people still buy CDs and records. no format that has gained an actual foothold truly disappears (well, maybe except for the ones that are truly ‘bridge’ technologies like cassettes). I may have said this in another comment, but some of us literally CANNOT use streaming services at times – I spend the bulk of my “headphones on” time traveling in a metal tube through an underground tunnel that does get any service (otherwise known as the NYC subway). So I continue to download podcasts/music/etc. when at home or work, and then I don’t have to think about whether I’m connected at all.

    And while you can pry my grandfathered unlimited data plan out of my cold, dead hands, more and more companies have forced customers into capped data plans, which are anathema to streaming services.

    Some segment of the population will always want to “buy” music – whether it’s on downloads or a physical format.


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