Fake news: Apple isn't killing iTunes music downloads

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited March 30
Google and Facebook have helped fuel the viral redistribution of another false report that Apple was planning to kill off all music downloads in iTunes next year in order to force users into an Apple Music subscription streaming plan. They're wrong, here's why.


Apple is adding Music Videos, not taking Music downloads away


On Tuesday, a blogger for Baeble Music made the sensationalist claim that "an Apple executive has officially announced all iTunes MP3 music downloads will be terminated by early 2019, about a year from today."

Which executive? Elissa Fertig, who also writes pieces such as "10 Artists That Charli XCX Should Cover," claimed it was Jimmy Iovine, who did not make such an announcement.

That didn't stop the false story (which mainly served as an advertisement for various competitors of Apple Music) from being widely shared on Facebook and cited by Google as a Top Story. Various other news outlets jumped on board to repeat the story before checking to see if there was any truth to it, including CNET's News.com.au.

"There is hugely popular Apple feature that could soon be killed off by the tech giant," that site claimed, "despite being a move the company has long denied."

Why would Apple stop selling downloads, which are far more profitable than music subscriptions? Author Matthew Dunn didn't seem to know, but he did know that the quote his entire article was based on was absolutely not that Apple was killing a popular feature. Dunn also knew that Apple had previously denied that it had any intent or interest in killing iTunes music downloads.




Writing for Metro UK (which brands itself as "news... but not as you know it") Jasper Hamill stuck to his site's principles as a not-really-news media site by similarly claiming in its headline "Apple will kill iTunes and stop selling music downloads, boss Jimmy Iovine admits," before himself admitting, at the end of his piece, that "Apple denied that it is planning to shut down iTunes Music store and stop selling downloads."

Apple would prefer to sell you digital downloads

The various phony headlines appear to all be based on a BBC interview with Iovine, in which he actually stated that streaming music services like Apple Music are hard to differentiate as "the labels want you to have the same music" as every other streaming service. Digital downloads are now being outsold by CDs and vinyl

And as for the "hugely popular Apple feature" that the company was supposedly killing next year? In reality, the popularity of downloads has massively declined, to the point where digital downloads "are now being outsold by CDs and vinyl."

However, rather than "announcing" that Apple was planning to shut off music downloads next year, Iovine actually answered a question about whether downloads would ever go away.

"If I'm honest, it's when people stop buying," he said. So rather than nonsensically taking away a popular service, Apple plans to sell downloads as long as anyone will pay for them.

Rather than canceling sales of popular content, Apple has worked to embellish and differentiate its music offerings, including the development of iTunes LP format. Introduced in 2009, iTunes LP was intended to make it easy for artists to build "extra" interactive content to encourage buyers to purchase the entire album.

iTunes LP turned out to not be very effective in stopping the trend toward single song purchases and eventually streaming music subscriptions, the real force that has slashed the popularity of digital downloads. Apple said it would stop accepting new iTunes LP content in April but would continue offering existing titles.

Apple has responded to the streaming threat posed by services such as Spotify by acquiring Beats and starting its own Apple Music streaming service, but that business is less profitable than selling digital downloads.

Spotify actually loses money streaming music, and it's not clear how it will be able to remain in business as it faces demands for higher royalties from artists while it competes against services like Google's YouTube, which pays artists far less than other streaming services.

While Apple Music pays artists nearly twice the amount per stream compared to Spotify, YouTube pays out less than a tenth of what Apple does.

Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, who joined Apple to help develop its streaming service, has castigated Google's YouTube practices, saying that the ad-based service "is built on the backs of free, stolen content and that's how they got that big. I think any free-tiered service is not fair. It's making their numbers and getting them a big IPO and it is built on the back of my work and that of my peers."

Despite paying artists more, Apple Music doesn't face the same existential crisis of Spotify because it has lower customer acquisition costs and doesn't need to make money from streaming just to survive as a company. However, Apple still earns much less from streaming than it did back when the majority of users paying for music were buying digital downloads from iTunes.

And as long as consumers are willing to pay for digital downloads, Apple will be happy to sell them.
dysamoria
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    sfolaxsfolax Posts: 23member
    This is just an opinion piece, there is nothing in here that is any more credible than the articles it is trying to attack.
    atomic101avon b7
  • Reply 2 of 29
    Yes. I will continue to purchase my songs too.
    netmagebaconstangDavidAlGregorywillcropointmagman1979watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 29
    Unless Apple officially comments on some product or service, then there's absolutely no reason to take what is likely some rumor as the truth. People really enjoy attacking Apple with false rumors. I'm guessing they're doing this to get more clicks. It really surprised me when I heard Apple was stopping music downloads because I figured not everyone only wanted to stream music and it didn't make much sense for Apple to undo all the music download infrastructure it had established for so many years. I've definitely enjoyed using Youtube to get free music over the years. I've found music on Youtube from decades ago that I thought I'd never be able to find and add to my music library. Pretty darn clean copies, too. I've always found it amazing how people upload entire song albums to Youtube and they can get away with it.
    netmage
  • Reply 4 of 29
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,321member
     I've found music on Youtube from decades ago that I thought I'd never be able to find and add to my music library. Pretty darn clean copies, too. I've always found it amazing how people upload entire song albums to Youtube and they can get away with it.
    YouTube pays royalties to the owner of the performance.
    http://blog.discmakers.com/2016/09/royalties-on-youtube-five-common-misconceptions/
    Bringing ASCAP in last year is helping identify the owners too.  
    https://www.ascap.com/press/2017/06-12-youtube-agreement


    edited March 30
  • Reply 5 of 29
    irelandireland Posts: 17,459member
    What do you exact from Metro.
    magman1979
  • Reply 6 of 29
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 522member
    Please tell me I am dreaming and that I’d didnt wake up to an article title that starts with  “Fake News”?!  I can’t take this seriously. 
    macxpressemig647
  • Reply 7 of 29
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,321member
    A Google search just now only found three other mentions besides Metro's. One in the Daily Mail yesterday and two in Australia. There may be other articles but they aren't coming up in  a quick search.  There's lots of old stuff tho, with rumors going back to 2016 that it's in the plans. If they report it long enough it's guaranteed to be true eventually. There's always next year.
    :)

    EDIT; Now four mentions. AI's story shows up in a Google Search.
    edited March 30
  • Reply 8 of 29
    Fake news is not a simple thing. Yes there is plenty of malicious intent in the world but much of it stems from laziness. Many sites are just copying articles from other sites (credible or not) without any effort or research. So true news and fake news spreads like wildfire in today's world. No different than someone in your community saying something true or false to someone...then they tell someone, then they tell someone...most of the time without sitting back and thinking is this or could this be true? How can I validate it first before gossiping? The other piece to this is the validation of information. With so much info available how do we even begin to validate everything? What a cluster F&*K.
    Tuubor
  • Reply 9 of 29
    Another comment. There are two core reasons I can see to "own" your music. The first is you are not some one who moves along with the times and are still concerned about logging in online. The second which I have experienced is if you use some music devices to stream music you have to own it to play it through the device. Not an issue though if you stick to Apple's ecosystem. But could be a huge issue for many.
  • Reply 10 of 29
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,097member
    Facebook and Google didn’t spread this news, the people writing them did. Daniel trying to somehow spread the actual fake news this time. 
  • Reply 11 of 29
    wlymwlym Posts: 72member
    sfolax said:
    This is just an opinion piece, there is nothing in here that is any more credible than the articles it is trying to attack.
    This is just an opinion comment, there is nothing here that suggests the commenter understood the article.

    neilmnetmagebrucemcking editor the gratebaconstangStrangeDaysdysamoriawatto_cobrawaverboy
  • Reply 12 of 29
    Another comment. There are two core reasons I can see to "own" your music. The first is you are not some one who moves along with the times and are still concerned about logging in online. The second which I have experienced is if you use some music devices to stream music you have to own it to play it through the device. Not an issue though if you stick to Apple's ecosystem. But could be a huge issue for many.
    And then there is 'going off grid'. I know that it is frowned upon in this always connected world but flicking your device into 'Airplane Mode' (my iPad has not been online for 6 months) allows you to get on with life without the 'connected world' butting in every 30 seconds with a FB Notification or something equally inane from Twitter etc.
    Besides when I'm out in my boat and out of sight of land there is no 3G/4G connectivity anyway.
    If I buy a song either on CD/DVD or via download then I have it for ever. With streaming, there is always a chance that the Record Company or the Artist might throw their toys out of the pram and take all the work off the streaming service. Then you are up the creek aren't you.

    But hey, I'm of an age where streaming really is not the done thing so my comments can be thrown in the trashjcan of life.
    baconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 29
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,131member
    jcs2305 said:
    Please tell me I am dreaming and that I’d didnt wake up to an article title that starts with  “Fake News”?!  I can’t take this seriously. 
    I knew it was DED. 

    Not that he is wrong in this case, but I hate the term. Just prove the news wrong and let the readership decide.
  • Reply 14 of 29
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    They sure as hell don’t like people using their own media files or even local libraries, though. I wouldn’t be surprised if they went to streaming only, since they’re sheltered in a California bubble where everyone has infinitely fast Internet and no download caps. On that topic, is there any website that catalogs what services are available for the tvOS Apple TVs? I haven’t seen one, and you can’t even SEE the tvOS App Store unless you buy a new Apple TV.

    I want a site that lists what content is available (meaning what traditional channels and services have apps), how much the app is per month, WHETHER YOU STILL NEED A FUCKING CABLE OR SATELLITE SUBSCRIPTION TO EVEN USE IT AT ALL, and whether it offers live content. Just 4 things. With all the third party iOS App Store search websites available, you’d think there would be one for the tvOS App Store, but nope.

    EDIT: Huh; the App Store does it now. Shows you how often I use the App Store.
    edited March 30
  • Reply 15 of 29
    Another comment. There are two core reasons I can see to "own" your music. The first is you are not some one who moves along with the times and are still concerned about logging in online. The second which I have experienced is if you use some music devices to stream music you have to own it to play it through the device. Not an issue though if you stick to Apple's ecosystem. But could be a huge issue for many.
    Another reason is how much one buys. I have a kick-buttocks library and iTunes Match; I buy far less music each year than the difference in price between Mapple Music and iTunes Match.
    baconstang
  • Reply 16 of 29
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,736member
    gatorguy said:
    A Google search just now only found three other mentions besides Metro's. One in the Daily Mail yesterday and two in Australia. There may be other articles but they aren't coming up in  a quick search.  There's lots of old stuff tho, with rumors going back to 2016 that it's in the plans. If they report it long enough it's guaranteed to be true eventually. There's always next year.
    :)

    EDIT; Now four mentions. AI's story shows up in a Google Search.
    Is it possible the results you get in a Google search are totally different from another person?  Just curious given the times we live in and how many tech companies target users based on data they have gleaned to create personality profiles.
  • Reply 17 of 29
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,321member
    MacPro said:
    gatorguy said:
    A Google search just now only found three other mentions besides Metro's. One in the Daily Mail yesterday and two in Australia. There may be other articles but they aren't coming up in  a quick search.  There's lots of old stuff tho, with rumors going back to 2016 that it's in the plans. If they report it long enough it's guaranteed to be true eventually. There's always next year.
    :)

    EDIT; Now four mentions. AI's story shows up in a Google Search.
    Is it possible the results you get in a Google search are totally different from another person?  Just curious given the times we live in and how many tech companies target users based on data they have gleaned to create personality profiles.
    Well I would certainly hope that my search results are tailored towards what I want to find out/look up/research based on past history.

    For instance if you were to begin typing in "Google" in the search bar your auto-complete might offer up "sucks" while I'd likely be looking for something a bit more specific and not see that particular result.  That's supposed to be one of the advantages to Google logging my search history. The more I use it the more accurate the search results should be, and it doesn't use my "personality" to do so. LOL. 

    Of course my search history has a number of "not me's" in there since I rarely bother to log out of my Google account before letting another family member/friend do a lookup so it might not be quite as good as it could be if it was only me using it.

    Still in actual use I can usually find what I want with the first search even if it's an uncommon one, as shown by the prodigious number of obscure links I post here. :)
    edited March 30
  • Reply 18 of 29
    Another comment. There are two core reasons I can see to "own" your music. The first is you are not some one who moves along with the times and are still concerned about logging in online. The second which I have experienced is if you use some music devices to stream music you have to own it to play it through the device. Not an issue though if you stick to Apple's ecosystem. But could be a huge issue for many.
    Another reason is how much one buys. I have a kick-buttocks library and iTunes Match; I buy far less music each year than the difference in price between Mapple Music and iTunes Match.
    Good point.  Depends on ones style of doing things.
    king editor the grate
  • Reply 19 of 29
    FolioFolio Posts: 393member
    Another comment. There are two core reasons I can see to "own" your music. The first is you are not some one who moves along with the times and are still concerned about logging in online. The second which I have experienced is if you use some music devices to stream music you have to own it to play it through the device. Not an issue though if you stick to Apple's ecosystem. But could be a huge issue for many.
    Another reason is how much one buys. I have a kick-buttocks library and iTunes Match; I buy far less music each year than the difference in price between Mapple Music and iTunes Match.

    Yet another possible reason. When you’re stuck in a concrete bunker with nothing but your iPhone, baked beans, and a hand-crank charger there’s no other way to listen to Black Sabbath “Paranoid.”  /s

    king editor the gratewatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 29
    YvLyYvLy Posts: 68member
    "Digital downloads are now being outsold by CDs and vinyl" Really??? Wow .... that alone would be worth a story!! Can you elaborate on that? (Me too, I recently "re-discovered" my CD's ... the sound ... soo much better ... )
    unbeliever2dysamoriawatto_cobra
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