Beats Music integration only part of the story as Apple wants to 'be the music business'

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited February 2015
Apple's ambitions in the music industry go beyond competing with the likes of streaming services like Spotify and Pandora, signaling that the acquisition of the Beats Music subscription service is just a part of the company's plans to overhaul iTunes.




Apple's goal "is to be the music business, it's not to compete with Spotify," an unnamed industry insider said to Billboard. Apple's behind-the-scenes dealings with record labels are beginning to come to light just days after CEO Tim Cook and executives Eddy Cue, Jimmy Iovine and Robert Kondrk attended the Grammys.

Apple is said to be debating pricing for its upcoming subscription music service, looking to reduce the $9.99-per-month rate of the existing Beats Music product. The iPhone maker reportedly believes it can leverage the existing 800 million iTunes and App Store customers from which it already has active credit card numbers.

Industry insiders also signaled that Apple is planning a "major scrub" of the iTunes Store to remove "duplicate and deceptive" versions of songs.

radio


Apple is looking to evolve as the music industry has moved away from digital music downloads and sales to subscription streaming services like Spotify. Last year alone, digital music sales fell 9 percent, while streaming grew 54 percent.

To help its transition and broaden its music distribution options, Apple acquired Beats Music last year as part of a $3 billion deal that also included the Beats headphones business. It's expected that Apple will retire the Beats Music brand and more tightly integrate a revamped version of the product into its existing iTunes lineup.

Iovine, himself an acqui-hire from the Beats deal, is said to be spearheading talks to lock up exclusive releases for Apple. The company hopes to replicate the blockbuster launch of Beyonce's eponymous LP on iTunes from 2013, which sold more than 800,000 copies in its first three days.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 54
    But I like the idea of a music library I carry around!

    Dudes, all Apple has to do is come out with a Beats headphone that plugs in to the iPhone port, and they'll make it back in a year.

    And ... what cool headphones they might be! Really surprised there are no (as in zero) rumors around this. Who gives a cracker about the music streaming service?
  • Reply 2 of 54
    I miss the days when we had a music profession.

    The real question is: will great music ever be created now? Seems it's been downhill since 1750 (the death of Bach).
  • Reply 3 of 54
    Maybe Beats will be Apple's music producers; signing new acts.
  • Reply 4 of 54
    "Apple's behind-the-scenes dealings with record labels..."
    It's a fail right there. To BE the music business you have to make sure that the source of music is thriving. The indie artists and DJ's must be able to upload and market themselves WITHOUT any record labels or money involved. Just like on YouTube, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Patreon or any other indie alternative. These days labels are becoming more like trucks, some people will still need them, but most of us will be better off with lighter alternatives closer to the source. Then, should the need for a truck arise, it should be an easy step for the artist.
  • Reply 5 of 54
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    Huh? downloads sales have declined because the music industry sucks due to its overloaded hip hop, rap, Kanye West crap.
    So what does Apple do? Aligns itself with a HopHop rap emprasario. Go luck wit dat.
  • Reply 6 of 54
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post



    The real question is: will great music ever be created now? Seems it's been downhill since 1750 (the death of Bach).

     

     

    ... this is like, joke trolling, right?

  • Reply 7 of 54
    pazuzu wrote: »
    Huh? downloads sales have declined because the music industry sucks due to its overloaded hip hop, rap, Kanye West crap.
    So what does Apple do? Aligns itself with a HopHop rap emprasario. Go luck wit dat.

    Music downloads are down because of... rap? That's gotta be it.
  • Reply 8 of 54
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    sog35 wrote: »
    The Beats acquistion will pay for itself in 5 years.

    You have 4 years left.
    Tick tock tick tock.
  • Reply 9 of 54
    irelandireland Posts: 17,660member
    Good luck with that. There is no way to 'be the music business'.
  • Reply 10 of 54
    joelsalt wrote: »
    The real question is: will great music ever be created now? Seems it's been downhill since 1750 (the death of Bach).

    [CONTENTEMBED=/t/184785/beats-music-integration-only-part-of-the-story-as-apple-wants-to-be-the-music-business#post_2675686 layout=inline] [/CONTENTEMBED]
    ... this is like, joke trolling, right?

    Nope.

    Bach is the greatest composer to have ever lived. No-one else comes close, not even Beethoven or Mozart. All music since has been a nice attempt in comparison.

    All modern music stems from Bach. He created the foundations of modern harmony.
  • Reply 11 of 54
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    Music downloads are down because of... rap? That's gotta be it.

    Well it's not the proliferation of opera.
  • Reply 12 of 54

    I am just waiting for the Beats deal to make sense and produce some nice fruit. I love the Apple ecosystem and wouldn't trade for any thing. Sometimes the additions are slow to market but when they arrive they change the market for the better.  

  • Reply 13 of 54
    irelandireland Posts: 17,660member
    pazuzu wrote: »
    You have 4 years left.
    Tick tock tick tock.
    Yeah if only Beats made expensive hardware that Apple could improve and iterate upon.
  • Reply 14 of 54
    ireland wrote: »
    pazuzu wrote: »
    You have 4 years left.
    Tick tock tick tock.
    Yeah if only Beats made expensive hardware that Apple could improve and iterate upon.

    They do.

    Expensive and superficial.
  • Reply 15 of 54
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    And apparently their ambitions in the auto industry go beyond CarPlay:

    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/84906352-b3a5-11e4-9449-00144feab7de.html?siteedition=intl#axzz3ReXcvAr3

    [quote]Apple is recruiting experts in automotive technology and vehicle design to work at a new top-secret research lab, said several people familiar with the company, pointing to ambitions that go beyond the dashboard.

    Dozens of Apple employees, led by experienced managers from its iPhone unit, are researching automotive products at a confidential Silicon Valley location outside the company’s Cupertino campus, the people said.

    Sir Jonathan Ive’s team of Apple designers has held regular meetings with automotive executives and engineers in recent months, in some cases trying to hire them. Recent recruits to Apple’s team include the head of Mercedes-Benz’s Silicon Valley R&D unit.[/quote]

    [quote]The lab may be developing an advanced software platform for carmakers to run in their vehicles that builds on its CarPlay infotainment system.

    But people familiar with the company said the background of the people Apple is hiring — including automotive designers and vehicle dynamics engineers — and the seniority of the executives involved suggest a car could be in the works.

    “Three months ago I would have said it was CarPlay,” said one person who has worked closely with Apple for many years, referring to Apple’s infotainment system. “Today I think it’s a car.”[/quote]
  • Reply 16 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post



    I miss the days when we had a music profession.



    The real question is: will great music ever be created now? Seems it's been downhill since 1750 (the death of Bach).

     

    Great music, like all art, is subjective, my friend. It can be argued that Rush, Yes, King Crimson, Moody Blues and Pink Floyd, to name a few, are all groups that are our modern-day Bachs and Beetovens. The primary difference is their use of modern instruments but their use of time signatures, dynamics, chord progressions, etc., are no different than classical compositions of the past. Centuries from now their compositions will be looked upon in the same way as those Fathers of music.

  • Reply 17 of 54
    pazuzu wrote: »
    You have 4 years left.
    Tick tock tick tock.
    They closed the deal in august. Not even 6 million months. Considering Beats headphones make about 1.3 billion in profit it will be sooner that 5 years it was a no brainer deal. Win win win.
  • Reply 18 of 54
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,448member

    I rather expect a Beats/Apple branded line of headphones, including BT options to appear any time. Sport BT for use with Apple Watch; active noise cancelling one for airline travel and other high noise environments. Any reason why an iPod Shuffle can't be embedded as well? 

  • Reply 19 of 54
    I miss the days when we had a music profession.


    The real question is: will great music ever be created now? Seems it's been downhill since 1750 (the death of Bach).

    Great music, like all art, is subjective, my friend. It can be argued that Rush, Yes, King Crimson, Moody Blues and Pink Floyd, to name a few, are all groups that are our modern-day Bachs and Beetovens. The primary difference is their use of modern instruments but their use of time signatures, dynamics, chord progressions, etc., are no different than classical compositions of the past. Centuries from now their compositions will be looked upon in the same way as those Fathers of music.

    I disagree.

    I enjoy a lot of Pink Floyd, and, indeed, much other music of the last few centuries, but to say that it's all the same is do do a profound disservice to music.

    Not all music is equal. I think there's been plenty of great music written since Bach, and before him. But there is also a hierarchy of music. "I'm too sexy for my shirt" uses the same Western harmony and form that composers used hundreds of years earlier, including Bach. But it's not as good as Bach's S. Matthew Passion. It never will be.

    We are lucky to be blessed with so much excellent music from the past, be it Haydn's Nelson Mass or Katy Perry's Teenage Dream.
  • Reply 20 of 54
    "I'm not JUST the business...

    I AM the business."
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