Is Apple About to Kill iTunes?

While little is expected in terms of hardware announcements at Apple’s annual World Wide Developers Conference, there should be quite a bit of software news.

  • Details of iOS 9
  • Details of OS X 10.11
  • Apple Pay’s introduction to Canada
  • Needed updates to Apple Watch
  • A new typeface (San Francisco) designed to make text easier to read.
  • More on HomeKit and Apple’s drive towards home automation.
  • And the death of iTunes.

Wait–what?

There are rumblings that we’ll finally hear what Apple is going to do with Beats, which they bought about a year ago for over $3 billion. The story is that we’re going to hear of a rebuilt Beats (with a substantial amount of input from Trent Reznor, apparently) that will be integrated into iOS 8.4 (or iOS 9) under the name Apple Music. UPDATE: Sony Music CEO Doug Morris confirmed this at Midem.

  • It will be a cloud-based streaming music service that will go through your personal library and link it to search throughout of the iTunes catalogue.
  • The more you use it, the more it’ll learn about your preferences, much like Spotify does.
  • It’ll either be part of the existing Music App or have its own icon that will appear on the home screen.
  • The cost? The standard $10/month–but without a free tier a la Jay Z’s Tidal.

But what does this mean for iTunes? The Financial Times reports that Apple will come close to totally abandoning the iTunes brand in favour of Apple Music. The store will continue to exist, of course, but the story says that Apple will begin pivoting away from selling music to streaming it.

We’ll see.

 

 

 

 

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ 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.

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