Apple debunks rumors that it will stop selling iTunes downloads

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited May 2016
Apple issued a rare statement on Wednesday debunking rumors that claimed the company has plans to discontinue iTunes music downloads sometime in the next four years, ostensibly in favor of an all-streaming service powered by Apple Music.




Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr told Re/code that reports of the death of iTunes downloads were greatly exaggerated, simply saying, "Not true."

Earlier today, a questionable report from Digital Music News, citing sources "close and active business relationships with Apple," said an end to iTunes downloads was no longer a matter of if, but when. Highly suspect, the report offered two separate timelines for Apple's seismic strategy shift, one with a termination date "within two years," and another dating out to "the next 3-4 years, maybe longer."

Neumayr said both timelines are false, but would not comment further.

A number of outlets circulated the spurious report.

Apple arguably popularized the digital music industry with iTunes and iPod, and has reaped the rewards for years. Digital downloads are the foundation of iTunes' business model, one Apple is unlikely to abandon anytime soon. The company is, however, following industry trends and last year launched a subscription-based streaming music service in Apple Music. Initial uptake is promising, and streaming is quickly catching on, but music downloads is still a huge segment for Apple.

In the near term, the company is more likely to leverage Apple Music as a sales booster instead of switching formats altogether. Drake's recent release, "Views," is a prime example. The album ran as an Apple Music exclusive for one week and in that time racked up well over one million download sales.
baconstang
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    It better not! If it ever happens, I'm done with Apple.
    tnet-primarybdkennedy1002mattinozanantksundaram1983
  • Reply 2 of 24
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    Whoever made this rumor is certainly a product of the "Apple is doomed" articles.

    pathetic.
    palomine
  • Reply 3 of 24
    razormaidrazormaid Posts: 299member
    That said...
    have you ever tried to BUY a song you heard in Apple Music?  I must have clicked 20 different links. They do NOT want you to buy anything!  i had to literally exit Apple Music and enter the iTunes music app. 

    There may be something to this. Otherwise why not "hear a song -> like a song -> but that song?"

    I've mentioned this before, but it's worth mentioning again: "just because you can buy music and see it in the iTunes Store does NOT mean Apple has a contract to allow it to stream in Apple Music."

    Case in point: classical music.
    I work on commercial dance music all day long as a dance remixer. When I'm not working I ONLY listen to classical. I tested Apple Music and it only had 1% of the classical music found in the "buy music" site. Had they had even 50% of the titles, I would have kept Apple Music but for me it was terrible. To see this yourself pick a popular title "The Messiah". On Apple Music there's 6 recordings. On the iTunes buy music site there's 1,000's of recordings. 

    If Apple could get new contracts on all titles (that's because you need one contract to sell and a completely different one to stream) to allow streaming of all the 'paid for songs' from iTunes Store,  yes I would consider, but it will never happen!
    edited May 2016 baconstang
  • Reply 4 of 24
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 1,241member
    There is no reason why they'd cut off this revenue stream. It would actually harm apple considerably as it gives them significant clout in the music business.
    baconstangmike11983ai46
  • Reply 5 of 24
    isteelersisteelers Posts: 738member
    Downloads aren't going away. I bet Apple will have the buy option baked into a future version of Apple Music. 
    baconstangmike1ai46
  • Reply 6 of 24
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,989member
    cali said:
    Whoever made this rumor is certainly a product of the "Apple is doomed" articles.

    pathetic.
    What’s pathetic are the AI commenters who knee jerk react to any rumor out there. These imbeciles take every rumor as confirmed fact. When this rumor broke the pontificating went into high gear, mostly the now required Apple bashing. Now that Apple has squashed the rumor we have replies like “It better not. If it ever happens I’m done with Apple.” Really, Apple’s worst enemies these days are its so-called supporters.
    pscooter63ai46
  • Reply 7 of 24
    k2directork2director Posts: 194member
    Apple has sabotaged a lot of products and features that long-time users have come to depend on.

    The reason this "rumor" got so much traction is that it does indeed seem within the realm of possibility. And the fact that Apple simply says "not true" and doesn't elaborate any further really isn't that much of a reassurance. 

     


    bdkennedy1002larryacnocbui1983
  • Reply 8 of 24
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 770editor
    lkrupp said:
    cali said:
    Whoever made this rumor is certainly a product of the "Apple is doomed" articles.

    pathetic.
    What’s pathetic are the AI commenters who knee jerk react to any rumor out there. These imbeciles take every rumor as confirmed fact. When this rumor broke the pontificating went into high gear, mostly the now required Apple bashing. Now that Apple has squashed the rumor we have replies like “It better not. If it ever happens I’m done with Apple.” Really, Apple’s worst enemies these days are its so-called supporters.
    For the record, we never reported the original rumor because it was highly unlikely. We only covered this after Apple officially debunked. So any commenter "pontificating" you may have read had to have been on another site. 
    baconstangtechloverlord amhrannetmagetdknox
  • Reply 9 of 24
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,822member
    This would be such a bad move I can see why Apple would feel the need to debunk this rumour when others would be left to go to the keeper.

    In a decade or two time then users will have terabytes of cloud syncing space for virtually nothing and mirco-financial systems have freed artists so completely that record labels no longer exist. Then it might be a different story. Any rumour like this before 2030 has no credibility.
    baconstangdiplication
  • Reply 10 of 24
    yoyo2222yoyo2222 Posts: 144member
    razormaid said:
    That said...
    have you ever tried to BUY a song you heard in Apple Music?  I must have clicked 20 different links. They do NOT want you to buy anything!  i had to literally exit Apple Music and enter the iTunes music app. 


    This may be true on iOS but it's not true in iTunes (PC or Mac). Clicking on the "..." next to the song one of the choices is 'Show in iTunes Store'. So, if you want to buy a song  (because, really, whats the rush if you are on your phone) iOS click on the "+" to add it to your library, play it as much as you like, then later on your computer click on the "..." to take you to the Store and buy it. The 'Kind' will switch from Apple Music to Purchased.
  • Reply 11 of 24
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,808member
    It better not! If it ever happens, I'm done with Apple.
    Too bad they don't have anything else to offer. /s
    diplicationnetmageai46
  • Reply 12 of 24
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    Apple has sabotaged a lot of products and features that long-time users have come to depend on.

    The reason this "rumor" got so much traction is that it does indeed seem within the realm of possibility. And the fact that Apple simply says "not true" and doesn't elaborate any further really isn't that much of a reassurance. 

     


    The reason this rumour got so much traction is because people are stupid. 
    netmageai46
  • Reply 13 of 24
    kevin keekevin kee Posts: 1,291member
    razormaid said:
    That said...
    have you ever tried to BUY a song you heard in Apple Music?  I must have clicked 20 different links. They do NOT want you to buy anything!  i had to literally exit Apple Music and enter the iTunes music app. 

    There may be something to this. Otherwise why not "hear a song -> like a song -> but that song?"

    I've mentioned this before, but it's worth mentioning again: "just because you can buy music and see it in the iTunes Store does NOT mean Apple has a contract to allow it to stream in Apple Music."

    Case in point: classical music.
    I work on commercial dance music all day long as a dance remixer. When I'm not working I ONLY listen to classical. I tested Apple Music and it only had 1% of the classical music found in the "buy music" site. Had they had even 50% of the titles, I would have kept Apple Music but for me it was terrible. To see this yourself pick a popular title "The Messiah". On Apple Music there's 6 recordings. On the iTunes buy music site there's 1,000's of recordings. 

    If Apple could get new contracts on all titles (that's because you need one contract to sell and a completely different one to stream) to allow streaming of all the 'paid for songs' from iTunes Store,  yes I would consider, but it will never happen!
    Just for testing, searching Messiah in my Music app generates a thousand songs from Handel's Messiah. is that what you are looking for?
    netmage
  • Reply 14 of 24
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    nhughes said:
    lkrupp said:
    What’s pathetic are the AI commenters who knee jerk react to any rumor out there. These imbeciles take every rumor as confirmed fact. When this rumor broke the pontificating went into high gear, mostly the now required Apple bashing. Now that Apple has squashed the rumor we have replies like “It better not. If it ever happens I’m done with Apple.” Really, Apple’s worst enemies these days are its so-called supporters.
    For the record, we never reported the original rumor because it was highly unlikely. We only covered this after Apple officially debunked. So any commenter "pontificating" you may have read had to have been on another site. 
    Look familiar?

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/09/22/apple-reportedly-planning-to-shut-down-beats-music-subscription-streaming-service

    Update: In a statement to Re/code, Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said the TechCrunch rumor is "not true," but did not offer further comment on the matter. The publication cites sources at Apple as saying branding for Beats Music could change in the future, though the streaming service itself will remain active. The article has been updated to reflect the new information

    Citing five sources at Apple and Beats, TechCrunch reported on Monday that although the exact timetable is unknown, Apple plans to sunset the Beats Music service and brand. People involved in the product are said to have already been moved onto other projects at the company, including iTunes.

    If true, the move would be a change from May, when Apple emphasized Beats Music as a key component of its $3 billion purchase of the headphone maker. The Beats Music product received top billing over Beats Electronics in Apple's press release announcing the deal, even though the headphone making side of the business is the brand's most recognizable role.

    edited May 2016
  • Reply 15 of 24
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,028member
    mac_128 said:
    nhughes said:
    For the record, we never reported the original rumor because it was highly unlikely. We only covered this after Apple officially debunked. So any commenter "pontificating" you may have read had to have been on another site. 
    Look familiar?

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/09/22/apple-reportedly-planning-to-shut-down-beats-music-subscription-streaming-service


    ???

    That's a completely different rumour; one that did come to pass. 
    tdknox
  • Reply 16 of 24
    spacekidspacekid Posts: 182member
    Chances are Apple said eventually downloads will die like floppy disks but didn't give a timeline. I suspect when the time is near, Apple will be the first to do it. I don't think that will happen until continuous Internet connections are easily available, such as from Musk's Internet satellites. Even then, it would be hard to always have an Internet connection such as in a forest or tunnel.
  • Reply 17 of 24
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    crowley said:
    mac_128 said:
    ???

    That's a completely different rumour; one that did come to pass. 
    Wait, are you saying that AI previously reported on a highly unlikely story, which Apple debunked the same day, but then actually came to pass less than a year later? Shocking. Guess there's no chance that could happen again here, with the exact same services and spokesperson issuing rare same day denials. Good thing AI didn't originally report this new rumor then.
    edited May 2016 larryanetmage
  • Reply 18 of 24
    I really do not see why this would be absurd. If I have access via subscription to a high percentage of music, why would I need to buy it? Other than rare collectibles which Apple could compromise and have a section of music to buy that is not in Apple Music...
  • Reply 19 of 24
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member

    spacekid said:
    Chances are Apple said eventually downloads will die like floppy disks but didn't give a timeline. I suspect when the time is near, Apple will be the first to do it. I don't think that will happen until continuous Internet connections are easily available, such as from Musk's Internet satellites. Even then, it would be hard to always have an Internet connection such as in a forest or tunnel.
    I would assume if Apple does this, that they will come up with some kind of method using protected storage space which buffers content based on your listening habits and cache music for offline listening. Something that can also be custom configurable, and expanded to account for those who know they will be offline for significant periods of time. It wouldn't be much different than the limitations a user faces now with their own iPod music syncing management.
    edited May 2016
  • Reply 20 of 24
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,822member
    mac_128 said:

    spacekid said:
    Chances are Apple said eventually downloads will die like floppy disks but didn't give a timeline. I suspect when the time is near, Apple will be the first to do it. I don't think that will happen until continuous Internet connections are easily available, such as from Musk's Internet satellites. Even then, it would be hard to always have an Internet connection such as in a forest or tunnel.
    I would assume if Apple does this, that they will come up with some kind of method using protected storage space which buffers content based on your listening habits and cache music for offline listening. Something that can also be custom configurable, and expanded to account for those who know they will be offline for significant periods of time. It wouldn't be much different than the limitations a user faces now with their own iPod music syncing management.
    That or future iPhone could have large write once storage instead of current tech. So once you're downloaded a song once it there forever. No connection needed to listen again. Sure would need to be a massive terabyte range storehouse. Still who knows what future will bring. 
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