Apple reportedly exploring on-demand music streaming service, iTunes for Android

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited March 2014
In a supposed bid to bolster declining iTunes music sales, Apple is in talks with major record labels to launch a Spotify-like on-demand streaming service, as well as an official iTunes app for the Android mobile operating system.

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Citing sources familiar with the talks, Billboard reports Apple is testing the waters of a possible subscription-based music streaming service as well as an Android iTunes app.

The discussions are purportedly part of a larger strategy to fend off a steep decline in U.S. iTunes downloads. Research from Nielsen SoundScan shows digital album sales were down 13 percent for the week of Mar.9, while per-track sales are tracking down 11 percent from the same time last year. A report from early March claimed Apple is also in talks with labels to release more exclusive content on a windowed basis, which would limit album sales to iTunes for a certain period of time.

"They are feeling out some people at labels on thoughts about transitioning its customers from iTunes proper to a streaming service," said an unnamed source from a major label. "So when you buy a song for $1.29, and you put it in your library, iTunes might send an e-mail pointing out that for a total of, say, $8 a month you can access that song plus all the music in the iTunes store. It's all in the 'what if' stage."

While talks are just now getting underway, some believe Apple will make iTunes Radio a standalone app, breaking it out of the iOS Music app where it currently resides.

It was reported earlier in March that iTunes Radio managed to carve out a larger portion of the streaming music market than Spotify, a major force in the sector. Of course, Apple's solution boats a free-to-use feature and comes with a massive installed user base.

Despite the initial influx of users, some of whom are granted on-demand listening access via iTunes Match, Pandora still dominates with nearly one third of the market. The service took a marginal hit when iTunes Radio first launched, but has since recovered and is back to a positive growth model. In addition, some 40 percent of Pandora listeners also listen to iTunes Radio.

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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 72
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,453member
    The at same idea worked well to introduce Windows users to good software, and accelerate switching, perhaps it will work again.

    Then again how many Android users are connected to the internet? :D
  • Reply 2 of 72
    singularitysingularity Posts: 1,329member
    The at same idea worked well to introduce Windows users to good software, and accelerate switching, perhaps it will work again.

    Then again how many Android users are connected to the internet? :D
    with itunes Apple have yet to introduce windows users with good software.
  • Reply 3 of 72
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,453member
    with itunes Apple have yet to introduce windows users with good software.

    If you says so. ;)
  • Reply 4 of 72
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    with itunes Apple have yet to introduce windows users with good software.

    am I to assume that Windows Media Player is some awesome exclusive I abandoned??

    back on topic:

    So how exactly is a streaming service going to improve song downloads???
  • Reply 5 of 72
    sporlosporlo Posts: 143member
    The last couple years I've invested the most time and money into Spotify (and I've tried them all basically). The problem is that I absolutely hate how Spotify runs their software and their customer support. The community forums are an absolute joke and their official reps make it clear they don't actually want to hear from their users. Granted, my opinion of Apple has been tanking the last 1 or 2 or 3 years, but I would bet that Apple could create a better Spotify client than Spotify.
  • Reply 6 of 72
    singularitysingularity Posts: 1,329member
    with itunes Apple have yet to introduce windows users with good software.

    If you says so. ;)
    I do say so. iTunes almost made me give up on the iPhone entirely. Its amazing how badly Apple coded the windows version. A resource hogging bloated programme that made me shudder with horror each time I used it (caveat this is only the window version)
  • Reply 7 of 72
    irelandireland Posts: 17,684member

    iMessage for Android. FFS!

  • Reply 8 of 72
    singularitysingularity Posts: 1,329member
    cali wrote: »
    with itunes Apple have yet to introduce windows users with good software.

    am I to assume that Windows Media Player is some awesome exclusive I abandoned??

    back on topic:

    So how exactly is a streaming service going to improve song downloads???
    Wmp is not the topic being discussed. If and its a big if Apple make a itunes android version, if its not any good then it wont enhance their reputation to android users.
  • Reply 9 of 72
    I remember seeing someone propose the iTunes for Android idea in a different thread. I just don't see it, though. I don't see Android users wanting to buy things through Apple that will be restricted to play through Apple apps. They want streaming or they want non-drm. What would iTunes give them that Google Play/Spotify doesn't?
  • Reply 10 of 72
    crowleycrowley Posts: 6,063member

    Wouldn't be optimistic about this, even if it's true; Apple are best when they stick to their own platforms.  Every bit of Windows software they've released has been disappointing and not at all up to the standard of the Mac OS counterpart, and their troubles with web services are well known.  I wouldn't expect any adventures with Dalvik to yield better results.

  • Reply 11 of 72
    singularitysingularity Posts: 1,329member
    I remember seeing someone propose the iTunes for Android idea in a different thread. I just don't see it, though. I don't see Android users wanting to buy things through Apple that will be restricted to play through Apple apps. They want streaming or they want non-drm. What would iTunes give them that Google Play/Spotify doesn't?
    nothing, if it was any good why would an android user decide to buy an iPhone? A small gain in profits of selling media to undermine future sales of the big powerhouse of the iphone. Apple wants you to buy the iphone/ipad and then use itunes to get your media.
  • Reply 12 of 72
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post



    The at same idea worked well to introduce Windows users to good software, and accelerate switching, perhaps it will work again.



    Then again how many Android users are connected to the internet? image

     

    This is true.  I guess hell can freeze over again, but this may lead to a lot of Android based iPod clones running iTunes.

    If they do this for Android, they should do it for Windows Phone as well.

     

    I think Apple may be about to move beyond the basic functionalities of iPods and iPhones and into bigger better things.

    iTunes for Windows desktops worked out nicely.  This should workout as well but Android is one hell of a fragmented platform to support.  Windows Phone may be much easier.

  • Reply 13 of 72
    hittrj01hittrj01 Posts: 753member
    I remember seeing someone propose the iTunes for Android idea in a different thread. I just don't see it, though. I don't see Android users wanting to buy things through Apple that will be restricted to play through Apple apps. They want streaming or they want non-drm. What would iTunes give them that Google Play/Spotify doesn't?

    Why do people still think iTunes is DRM? Music has been non-DRM for nearly 10 years now!
  • Reply 14 of 72
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,283member
    Read the Billboard article itself that's the source for AI's report. Much more detailed and does a good job of explaining why Apple is looking at changes. Easy to miss the link within the AI story.
    http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/digital-and-mobile/5944778/apple-mulls-launching-spotify-rival-android-app-as
  • Reply 15 of 72
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member

    The only reason Apple made itunes for Windows is you needed a PC to use an iPod and most people used a Windows PC. How does itunes on Android sell Apple hardware.

  • Reply 16 of 72
    I don't listen to much radio anymore but what's the big difference between iTunes Radio and this Spotify like streaming service? Seems like the same thing to me. Pick a band it plays them.

    Wouldn't it make sense for apple to somehow let us iTunes Radio w/o a data charge? Hook your iPhone up to your car stereo through a USB and listen on the road with no data charge. Why can't apple do that?
  • Reply 17 of 72
    os2babaos2baba Posts: 262member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by singularity View Post





    I do say so. iTunes almost made me give up on the iPhone entirely. Its amazing how badly Apple coded the windows version. A resource hogging bloated programme that made me shudder with horror each time I used it (caveat this is only the window version)

     

    Tell me about it!  iTunes was one of the reasons why I no longer have any iDevices save one iPod which I don't even bother updating any more.  iTunes was the reason why I bought an iPod in the first place a decade ago.  I thought iTunes was the cat's whisker back then because of all the cool things it did (change the ID3 tags while a CD was getting ripped or a song was playing.  Brilliant!).  But all the problems of iTunes never got fixed and it just got more and more bloated with constant updates making it even bigger.  When I bought my iPad, I had to connect it to iTunes just to get it started.  WTF!

     

    That was on Windows.  iTunes on my iPod Touch was also frustrating.  Google Play Music is just sooooo much better than iTunes was.  I have no idea how good it is now.  I sold my iPod Touch 3 years ago.  Maybe it's improved now.

  • Reply 18 of 72
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

     

    The only reason Apple made itunes for Windows is you needed a PC to use an iPod and most people used a Windows PC. How does itunes on Android sell Apple hardware.




    I suppose it could bring more people into the Apple ecosystem in the long run. As Phil Schiller once said "Once we get people interested in iPods they might look at other products we sell." (paraphrasing)

  • Reply 19 of 72
    cali wrote: »
    am I to assume that Windows Media Player is some awesome exclusive I abandoned??

    back on topic:

    So how exactly is a streaming service going to improve song downloads???

    You'll have to download it again every time you press "play." Isn't that exciting?
  • Reply 20 of 72
    jakebjakeb Posts: 557member

    If you just want to listen to the same songs over and over, then yes.

    But the ability to listen to any song ever at any moment is pretty compelling if you have wide-ranging listening habits.

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