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Apple considering 'dramatic' overhaul of iTunes Music Store to boost sales - report

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 
Facing significant declines in digital music sales, Apple is reportedly plotting a potential overhaul of its iTunes Music Store, in addition to considering new revenue opportunities through on-demand streaming and even allegedly an iTunes for Android.

iTunes Radio


Executives at Apple apparently had high hopes for iTunes Radio to help boost sales of songs on the iTunes Store, but to date only between 1 and 2 percent of listeners are purchasing content, according to Billboard. That's led to "hotly debated" possibilities within Apple and with its content partners about the future of iTunes.

"Apple's desire for a smooth transition is complicated by an urgency in by an urgency that iTunes must move quickly as people move away from downloads, where Apple controls 90% of download music sales in the U.S., towards streaming, where Apple is overshadowed," the report said.

Sources within the music industry have apparently portrayed the debut of iTunes Radio as "underwhelming," while the cloud-based iTunes Match service is alleged to have "only" 1 million subscribers.

One music executive said they expect iTunes to be "completely different" in the next 3 to 5 years. People at Apple are apparently feeling the heat from streaming services like Pandora and Spotify, which are eating away at traditional music sales.

Radio


Wednesday's report is light on details about what exactly Apple might do to overhaul the iTunes Music Store, but Billboard did indicate last month that the company is allegedly considering a version of iTunes for Android. Another potential option said to be on the table is a new on-demand music streaming service, much like Spotify.

Those possibilities were presented again Wednesday, with the prospect of iTunes for Android specifically portrayed as a consideration that "weighs no less heavily" on Apple executives than when late co-founder Steve Jobs decided to debut iTunes for Windows in 2003.

In light of an erosion of downloads by all-you-can-eat streaming services like Spotify and Beats Music, iTunes still holds considerable sway in the industry, generating more than 40 percent of U.S. recorded music sales revenue. That represents a huge bargaining chip for Apple in pushing for an expansion of its own streaming service.

On the streaming front, Pandora dominates with nearly one-third of the market, while recent data suggests that iTunes Radio is already bigger than Spotify, despite launching in late 2013. But Apple had apparently hoped that iTunes Radio might have a greater effect on music sales than the service has thus far.
post #2 of 61

Maybe they should work on making itunes and the itunes app run more smoothly. It's a behemoth of an application at this point and it takes forever to do anything.

post #3 of 61
"iTunes Store, but to date only between 1 and 2 percent of listeners are purchasing content,"

Wow, that seems insanely low. I've purchased a ton of stuff simply due to iTunes Radio, so have other people I know.
post #4 of 61
Welcome Apple to the world where business model life cylcles are ever shorter. Apple ate away cd market with iTunes, now streaming is disruptin download biz model. Apple need to find next after streaming. Not easy.
post #5 of 61

It may simply be that music sales across all categories are shrinking because the "last mile" is full of people who will never pay for music.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #6 of 61

So... its more like Apple is now making Themes and Skins for their software.

iOS 7 (except some APIs) :) is one theme of iOS. :)  

post #7 of 61
Offer Apple Loseless Audio Codec albums or high resolution alternatives...get on the bandwagon Apple!
post #8 of 61
This is a direct consequence of Apple free falling market shares in iphones and ipods. With android having over 80% market share worldwide, that means all those people are buying songs from google or other offering on android.

imo Apple needs to enter the mid-range market with a $300 phone to regain critical mass on its ecosystem. itunes on android will also help, but its better to offer cheaper hardware to keep selling music, apps, movies, ....
post #9 of 61
This is a more dire version of an article written just 19 days ago... http://iphone.appleinsider.com/articles/14/03/21/apple_reportedly_exploring_on_demand_music_streaming_service_itunes_for_android.

I expect the next article to be more dire.
post #10 of 61

Let see most music today has an attention span of what a month and on to the next piece of garbage.

 

What I think we are observing is this, when albums came out people bought the most popular music, then 8 tracks came out and people re-purchased, then cassettes, then CD and then Digital. Now people have bought all the most popular songs they like in digital content and since there is nothing new and there is no need to replace digital content people do not have to re-purchase what they already own.

 

We are now at the end of the life cycle of music content purchasing cycles, There is no reason to buy anything new and if people are like me in my house, all my kids have all my music as well, once they get bored of the crap autotune stuff that most artist put out today, they turn back to the classical R&B, Rock and so on.

 

Unless Artist put our music which can stand the test of time new generations of buyers are not going to seek out their music they listen to it for a while and move on. Everyone who planned to buy from Itunes have already did so and most likely are sharing it with their families as well.

 

Yeah you got Streaming content but that can be a bandwidth hog if everyone is doing it on their mobile devices.  

post #11 of 61
Give me a 256Gb iPhone and I'll buy more Music from the store. 64Gb is simply not enough to hold a decent sized music collection on top of the OS, Apps, Photos and Videos...

iTunes Match is not an option.. my data plan is 2Gb limite per month.
post #12 of 61
About time. iTunes has become such cluttered crap and a bloated mess. Moreover, physically syncing an i-device of any kind has become an utter waste of time as the thing shuffles through what seems like an endless series of dumb protocols.
post #13 of 61

lossless audio, and an overhaul of the iTunes app on OSX and Music app on iOS.

post #14 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcoleman1 View Post

Offer Apple Loseless Audio Codec albums or high resolution alternatives...get on the bandwagon Apple!


Offering lossless music is only going to satisfy a fraction of a percent of the population. It's a non-issue for the vast majority of the music listening world.

post #15 of 61
Apple should fix (insert pet peeve here).

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #16 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post
 

Let see most music today has an attention span of what a month and on to the next piece of garbage.

 

What I think we are observing is this, when albums came out people bought the most popular music, then 8 tracks came out and people re-purchased, then cassettes, then CD and then Digital. Now people have bought all the most popular songs they like in digital content and since there is nothing new and there is no need to replace digital content people do not have to re-purchase what they already own.

 

We are now at the end of the life cycle of music content purchasing cycles, There is no reason to buy anything new and if people are like me in my house, all my kids have all my music as well, once they get bored of the crap autotune stuff that most artist put out today, they turn back to the classical R&B, Rock and so on.

 

Unless Artist put our music which can stand the test of time new generations of buyers are not going to seek out their music they listen to it for a while and move on. Everyone who planned to buy from Itunes have already did so and most likely are sharing it with their families as well.

 

Yeah you got Streaming content but that can be a bandwidth hog if everyone is doing it on their mobile devices.  

I'm one of the 1-2 percent of iTunes Radio listeners that bought content.  But truth be told, I probably buy more music through Shazam on iTunes, than iTunes Radio.

 

and I agree with this.   I'm finding I buy 'deep tracks' from the old stuff [pre-1990].   I rarely[never] buy new [2011-on] stuff.   I look at my kids (now adults), and a large percentage [25-35%] of their music is 'my' music, from before they were born.

 

I think the over all tenet of this article is... ITMS is a massive store and every method of driving people to something to buy (Ping, Radio, genius, Match, album complete) has scraped all the remaining sales, or failed to generate sales at all [Ping].     Most people 'listen to music'  (even I keep Classical music streaming from Minnesota Public Radio on my Mac Mini while I'm working), but it's background filler...   Streaming is that...  and Apple came in 4th in establishing that beachhead.   It may be a struggle to regain that... but I think music is now the give away anyway....


Edited by TheOtherGeoff - 4/9/14 at 12:57pm
post #17 of 61

It's not the layout, it's the price...

post #18 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

This is a direct consequence of Apple free falling market shares in iphones and ipods. With android having over 80% market share worldwide, that means all those people are buying songs from google or other offering on android.

imo Apple needs to enter the mid-range market with a $300 phone to regain critical mass on its ecosystem. itunes on android will also help, but its better to offer cheaper hardware to keep selling music, apps, movies, ....


The vast majority of the Android public is buying nothing from Google.  Streaming stuff from the web maybe.  Buying?  Not so sure about that.

post #19 of 61
When on the go, people are spending more time texting and doing things other than listening to music on their mobile devices.
post #20 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by boriscleto View Post
 

It's not the layout, it's the price...

Its not the price, its the layout.

 

If Apple wanted to compete with Pandora they should have put a big button right on the first page of the default Home Screen that says RADIO. After 5 minutes with it no one would seek out Pandora.

 

Unfortunately I doubt users can find iTunes Radio. Even though its the first thing that pops up on you when you open the Music app for the first time, you're not looking for Radio, you're looking for your "iPod" and will likely dismiss it.

post #21 of 61

BTW, Apple is NOT considering iTunes for Android. 

 

If the scheme is to make more money selling music, the last thing they're going to do is make iTunes available to Android users. They don't buy squat.

 

The 'increase' from that wouldn't even register on a pie chart.

post #22 of 61

The iTunes interface is horrible, as horrible is its search engine. As horrible is the Apple Mail search engine and the Apple Finder search engine. They should bring back the great Sherlock search engine of Mac OS 9 or the one of HoudahSpot with the possibility to search non-indexed volumes like EasyFind.

post #23 of 61

Really high quality audio is a niche at best and wouldn't make a dent.

Just think about how many people still "crank that shit up" on garbage sound systems, way past what their speakers can handle, till it's just a garbled mess of distortion. The regular folk wouldn't care about super high quality audio and frankly 256 AAC is getting to the point where you have to be incredibly picky to complain too much.

post #24 of 61

SHH. I want iTunes match on my Nexus 5. Besides that, I refuse to buy a single Movie or Show on iTunes till they open up to more platforms. I don't need my movie collection locked to apple only devices in perpetuity thank you very much.

post #25 of 61
music is overpriced, artists are underpaid, and streaming is the worst culprit yet. streaming licenses are extremely expensive. nobody buys music anymore, so I guess this is the new normal.
post #26 of 61
Is there a problem here with Apple? iTunes Radio has not appeared in many countries. AppleTV is facing increased competition. The lack of information about progress with improvements to both streaming services and Apple TV is allowing the competition to promote alternatives that look to be taking business away from Apple. I have given up on iTunes Radio appearing in the UK and have tried Spotify instead which has been great. The result is that I have stopped purchasing music from iTunes. If Apple is to keep customers in an increasing competitive market they need to do more to keep them .
post #27 of 61

SUBCATEGORIES OF SUBCATEGORIES OF SUBCATEGORIES.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #28 of 61
I'm a huge Apple fan. But I've shifted all my music consumption from iTunes to Spotify ($10/month). I don't want to own or buy music anymore. I'd be happy to use an equivalent Apple service if it existed.

Get it done Apple.
post #29 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Apple should fix (insert pet peeve here).

Are you saying you don't have any?

 

Wow. Good for you. Or you have less-than-high expectations.

post #30 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dachar View Post

Is there a problem here with Apple? iTunes Radio has not appeared in many countries. AppleTV is facing increased competition. The lack of information about progress with improvements to both streaming services and Apple TV is allowing the competition to promote alternatives that look to be taking business away from Apple. I have given up on iTunes Radio appearing in the UK and have tried Spotify instead which has been great. The result is that I have stopped purchasing music from iTunes. If Apple is to keep customers in an increasing competitive market they need to do more to keep them .

The only problem right now is HOW FREAKING LONG it's been since they announced anything or updated anything. The last keynote was back in October, which feels like an eternity.

post #31 of 61
Originally Posted by schlack View Post
Im a huge Apple fan. But

 

*sigh*

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #32 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

This is a direct consequence of Apple free falling market shares in iphones and ipods. With android having over 80% market share worldwide, that means all those people are buying songs from google or other offering on android.

imo Apple needs to enter the mid-range market with a $300 phone to regain critical mass on its ecosystem. itunes on android will also help, but its better to offer cheaper hardware to keep selling music, apps, movies, ....

 

One of the stupidest, most ill-informed post I've ever read. Do you have a shred of evidence that "people are buying songs from Google" or "other offerings on Android"? No, because they aren't. iTunes sales still command a huge majority of music downloads, worldwide. There's numbers and stats to prove this. The fact that less people are paying for music has absolutely nothing to do with Android, nor marketshare- Google Music is barely making a blip. It has everything to do with people choosing to stream for free instaead, or use monthly plans- the apps with which this is done being all available on iOS. 

 

So, with less people being willing to pay for stuff, your solution is for Apple to release a dirt-cheap phone, which will attract cheap people, who will.. do what? Buy a ton of music suddenly? A $300 phone is only a big deal in developing countries, etc where things arent subsidized- are THESE the people who are suddenly going to buy a ton of iTunes music? Next time, taking 2 seconds to analyze the situation, instead of the intellectually lazy "free-falling marketshare" line that you were obviously so desperate to spit out. Apple is selling a shitload of phones- pure numbers has nothing to do with it. People with Android phones are not spending $$ on digital downloads on non-Apple stuff, they simply don't spend anything at all. The figures are all available. Your solution that Apple should sell a dramatically cheaper phone in order to get more music downloads is almost obscene in its idiocy. 

post #33 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by schlack View Post

I'm a huge Apple fan. But I've shifted all my music consumption from iTunes to Spotify ($10/month). I don't want to own or buy music anymore. I'd be happy to use an equivalent Apple service if it existed.

Get it done Apple.

There is and it's either $25/year or free if you're a fan of iTunes Match, which your'e not because you don't want to own any music.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #34 of 61
Maybe sound quality could be a differentiator for iTunes. With iTunes Radio streaming at high-quality 320 kbps AAC using a Spotify like on-demand model while providing the option for payed downloads at full CD quality Apple-Lossless and Studio Master quality 24bit 96kHz - 24bit 192kHz Apple-Lossless for audiophiles, like HDtracks, Linn Records etc...
post #35 of 61
I pay 6 a month for spotify and have virtually all the music I want to listen to without using any precious storage.

I would gladly pay that to Apple for an streaming service that has all the music on demand and not randomized tunes.

Keep in mind that the iTunes Store doesn't work in my country for anything other than apps. So buying content from Apple is out of the question. Still 6 dollars for unlimited music beats 0.99 a song.
post #36 of 61
Spotify for me is paradise! Any music I want at anytime, download or stream to all my devices. This will be tough for Apple to beat.
rmusikantow
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rmusikantow
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post #37 of 61

"People with Android phones are not spending $$ on digital downloads on non-Apple stuff, they simply don't spend anything at all. The figures are all available. Your solution that Apple should sell a dramatically cheaper phone in order to get more music downloads is almost obscene in its idiocy. "

So all these people that are buying those expensive Samsung phones and tablets that Apple is right now suing Samsung accusing them of stealing their market share and demanding licensing fees of $40 a device are not buying anything from the Google Play store? That is rich.

 

We know that most Android sales are low-end devices to developing markets that are being used as feature phones or dumb phones. We know that because you guys tell us that over and over and over again.

 

But a lot of Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note phones and phablets are being sold. In addition, Samsung, ASUS, Amazon and Lenovo sold 64.5 million tablets in 2013. Not far off Apple's 70.5 million. Samsung, ASUS, Amazon and Lenovo do not make the "cheap $50 toys" that DED insists dominates Android sales (in reality according to this list, the "other" manufacturers only sold about 60.6 million tablets, and some of those do include other manufacturers of quality Android tablets like Google Nexus, Toshiba, HP, Acer etc. http://techcrunch.com/2014/03/03/gartner-195m-tablets-sold-in-2013-android-grabs-top-spot-from-ipad-with-62-share/).

 

So, I am sorry, but that is a huge potential market ... people who were willing/able to shell out at least $200 for a tablet and/or to get at least a midrange phone. Not as big as the IOS market, but still a good sized market. A lot of them do not buy music from the Google Play store, granted, because the Google Play store stinks. (I actually make most of my Google Play purchases through the browser on my PC and just let it download instead of bothering with the Google Play app on Android devices.) Google Play's app is even worse than the Amazon app ... much worse in fact. But they would be much more likely to buy music from an I-Tunes store. Just like Windows users gladly bought music from I-Tunes from their cheap Windows devices, remember?

post #38 of 61

Maybe the revamp is also designed to avoid patent infringement?

post #39 of 61
Get a separate app for Iradio present system is a mess finding it in iTunes

Fix search iTunes still too hRd to find stuff and separate from my iPhone stuff I love apple but gee wiz hire some execs from google search division poaching can help

Make iTunes AND iPhoto work BETTER with an external HD connected to your router (TC with external)
Presently iTunes sucks on external not connected to your Mac
Keeps forgetting where my library is
hey if more people are using ssd and external to keep an ever expanding library MAKE IT WORK

Fix the bloat

KISS-A Keep it simple apple


Feel better getting that off my chest 1smile.gif
I APPLE THEREFORE I AM
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I APPLE THEREFORE I AM
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post #40 of 61
24 bit lossless sales and I'd start purchasing more as that's even better than cd quality. I know I'm in the minority but it would at least open up doors for marketing. I read a year or two ago that apple was requesting 24 bit tracks from the studios so maybe this is under consideration.

As far as iTunes, I'm still running running iTunes 10 because 11 seemed awful to me. The box set cover art isn't even centered not mention the elimination of cover flow.

iTunes also hasn't fixed a major bug on ios7 when trying to choose an album after selecting an artist. None of the albums are alphabetized like they used to be and all of the tracks are listed which takes forever to find an album. This bug alone has kept me on ios6 on my phone. Running 7 on my ipad since I don't use that for music. Sucks because I like ios7 otherwise and would love to update my phone. It's hard to believe Apple would allow a major app like iTunes to be this bad.
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