Last month, there were rumors surfaced about the shutting down of Beats Music by Apple Inc., but the rumors haven’t become the truth as the reports of anti-shutdown surfaced later. Now, Apple seems to be very much interested in merging the Beats Music digital subscription service with its iTunes.
When Apple acquired the Los Angeles-based Beats by Dr. Dre for $3 billion, it was widely believed that the company could use Beats Music as much as the high-end Beats by Dr. Dre headphones. But, now the company’s real intention is coming to light. According to an insider who is close to the company’s plans, Apple will be shutting down the separate Beats Music app and will be merging the digital subscription service with its iTunes in early 2015.
As of now, Apple Inc hasn’t commented on the reports, so we have no clue whether the company will retain the Beats Music brand along with the digital subscription service inside the iTunes or not. Most probably, there won’t be a trace of Beats inside the iTunes, but the company might transfer all subscribers to its iTunes digital music subscription service. The technology giant also has the ability to either reduce or increase the subscription charges along with premium features.
First reported by the Wall Street Journal which cites an insider familiar with Apple Inc.’s plans, TechCrunch also confirmed the news. The WSJ predicts the reason for the move by Apple, as iTunes music download sales have started declining since the beginning of this year. Apple Inc. saw a 13 percent to 14 percent down in global iTunes download sales in 2014.
Now that the digital track sales is cratering, Apple would seriously consider introducing its own streaming service in near future. Beats Music has approximately 250,000 subscribers on board, but it seems like, Apple doesn’t want to invest big in this service to challenge its biggest rivals in music streaming service such as Google Music, Deezer, Spotify and Pandora. As of now, Spotify has over 10 million paid users and 30 million free users subscribed to its digital music streaming service.
Merging Beats Music with Apple iTunes would be an added advantage for the company, because iTunes has over 800 million users already (including 400 million users with credit cards). If Apple chooses to shut down the service and integrate it into iTunes, the company will be left with Beats technology, the staff and the range of Beats headphones.