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gooddelta
post May 11 2016, 10:07 PM
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QUOTE
Apple Aiming to End iTunes Music Downloads in Two Years

Wednesday May 11, 2016 1:11pm by Juli Clover

Apple allegedly has an aggressive plan to "terminate" music downloads from iTunes within two years, reports Digital Music News citing sources with "close and active business relationships" with Apple.

Apple is also rumored to be considering a three to four year timeline for the shutdown of iTunes downloads, but overall discussions with Apple executives are said to focus on "not on if, but when" the company should retire music downloads. Termination of music downloads could be staggered by country based on the popularity of streaming content in different regions.

Back to the story, the sources indicated that a range of shutdown timetables are being considered by Apple, though one executive noted that "keeping [iTunes music downloads] running forever isn't really on the table anymore." Also under discussion is a plan to "ride the [iTunes music download offering] out for the next 3-4 years, maybe longer," when paid music downloads are likely to be an afterthought in a streaming-dominated industry. [...]

According to one source, an initial shutdown could take place in 'tier 1' countries like the United States, UK, and leading countries in Europe and Asia, with 'tier 2' and 'tier 3' countries experiencing a staggered shutdown in subsequent years.

The timeline is unclear because Apple's iTunes business continues to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars each year, but it is on the decline due to the rise of streaming music services. According to music industry Mark Mulligan, iTunes music downloads will be worth $600 million in 2019, down from $3.9 billion in 2012. Mulligan believes Apple's download business could be 10 times smaller than its streaming music business by 2020.

Apple is also said to be considering ending music downloads due to the confusion it causes with Apple Music, mixing downloaded music purchases with Apple Music content.

Late last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that Apple Music now has 13 million paying subscribers, up from 11 million users in February. Apple Music originally launched on June 30, 2015 in more than 100 countries and at its current growth rate, Apple is on track to have 15 million subscribers at its one-year anniversary.


Source: http://www.macrumors.com/2016/05/11/apple-...usic-downloads/

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What are everybody's views on this? Will certainly make the sales report even more depressing than usual as presumably the week iTunes stop offering downloads will be the final nail in the coffin that is singles sales.

I wouldn't personally be happy with this as I still use an iPod and like to own copies of music to transfer to that. The thought that it's going to be so much harder to actually buy singles legally is quite sad for me, seeing as CD singles have died a death so this is the only way now.

I can see myself slowly converting to streaming (I still haven't for singles yet, but do listen to some new albums via streaming) but it's just the annoyance of certain services having exclusives that others don't have, whereas usually they're available to buy somewhere at least.

Oh well, hopefully Amazon/Google Play or others will still offer paid downloads!


This post has been edited by gooddelta: May 11 2016, 10:08 PM
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girl_from_oz
post May 11 2016, 10:11 PM
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If they do it, it will be because of itunes sales plummeting, there was another article about this in which Universal's income from itunes is crashing http://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/stre...me-is-crashing/ so this might happen but I'm not sure if it will happen while certain artists hold their albums off streaming such as Adele
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ChristmasEve201
post May 11 2016, 10:24 PM
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I'm with GD here I still download singles and albums and never thought of it in the same way as a cd single in 2003 as new releases still sell 40-80k per week on average so it's strange to make a decision so soon.

I for one love downloading what I want to my phone and storing it on iTunes on my PC and don't like the thought of having to move to streaming!
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slowdown73
post May 11 2016, 11:00 PM
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Not keen on this at all. I still prefer the old CD single but will download some tracks but don't stream at all. I believe there is still a market for downloading even though streaming is very popular now.
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Winter Wombatlan...
post May 11 2016, 11:55 PM
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It will definitely kill off singles sales, as I'd imagine pretty much just Amazon would be the only alternative for downloading singles? The sales charts will start looking like the physical singles charts!

It will be very sad news for me as I don't really stream (not that I'm against it, but I like actually owning music on an iPod I can take with me and listen to and I don't really like the idea of paying to listen to songs yet not own them - I can do that on Youtube for free...) so accessing music to buy legally will become harder sad.gif I could switch to the aforementioned Amazon, or maybe use Spotify more, idk...

Quite insane to think the idea of buying music is coming to be considered as a dated form of consuming music, I never really thought that would happen, even when streaming was officially incorporated!
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girl_from_oz
post May 12 2016, 01:08 AM
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I don't understand what the difference is between "terminate" ITunes downloads and shutdown Itunes Downloads
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MARIAH.
post May 12 2016, 01:13 AM
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Update: Apple rep Tom Neumayr contacted Recode and said the report that Apple would stop iTunes music downloads in two years is "not true."
http://www.recode.net/2016/5/11/11660982/a...nloads-not-true
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AcerBen
post May 12 2016, 10:02 AM
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I think that 2019 projection, wherever it's come from, is too low. I think the rate of decline will at some point slow down - there are plenty of people out there who don't want or need access to Apple's full catalogue and would never pay $10 a month for it. Whether Apple will get rid of downloads though.. well, the main reason they would want to do it is that it would encourage more people to pay the subscription, but of course there is the risk that not enough of them do, and more of them just switch to Amazon. Of course the main point of selling downloads/subscriptions isn't to make money out of the music, but to ensure people keep buying Apple devices. We'll just have to wait and see I suppose.
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JingleBellJupes
post May 12 2016, 03:23 PM
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It had better not. The thing with streaming is that you need an internet connection or wifi to do it. Are people on the move really going to en masse want to blitz through their data allowance just to be able to listen to music while on the bus, on the tube, etc? I don't see it happening.
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girl_from_oz
post May 12 2016, 04:11 PM
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QUOTE(360Jupiter @ May 12 2016, 04:23 PM) *
It had better not. The thing with streaming is that you need an internet connection or wifi to do it. Are people on the move really going to en masse want to blitz through their data allowance just to be able to listen to music while on the bus, on the tube, etc? I don't see it happening.



Well technically you don't, you can download music to listen to offline, I do that all the time, usually takes me 30 seconds to download an apple music playlist
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JCM20
post May 12 2016, 04:38 PM
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It's been proven to not be true
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All★bySmashMouth
post May 12 2016, 05:54 PM
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Uh... this could hinder piracy to some extent but there will be people that find ways to rip music online so... yeah.

And also people will have to pay £10 (more or less) subscription to play music they want, compared to 99p for a song (I know Spotify streaming is free but let's not count it)? Sounds cheap.

Well, if ever Apple does get rid of selling downloads. It's being denied to be true. No need to be so upset for now.
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Ethan
post May 12 2016, 05:54 PM
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it's inevitable that this will happen before the end of the decade imo ~ downloads are rapidly becoming a niché market, although i do think there is a future for specialist lossless digital formats~
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dancember
post May 12 2016, 05:55 PM
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yeah I don't see why Apple would want to get rid of music downloads so soon, they're still doing quite well!
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T83:Y96
post May 12 2016, 06:11 PM
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I really hope this doesn't happen. I don't want the chart to be entirely streaming.
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dancember
post May 12 2016, 06:35 PM
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QUOTE(Taylor Jago @ May 12 2016, 07:11 PM) *
I really hope this doesn't happen. I don't want the chart to be entirely streaming.

At the rate downloads are declining the chart will be ""entirely"" streaming soon anyway. Streaming already makes up 80% of the singles market.
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girl_from_oz
post May 12 2016, 06:51 PM
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The question might not be if I-Tunes start getting rid of downloads but if more artists do what Kanye West has done with Life Of Pablo
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AcerBen
post May 12 2016, 10:39 PM
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QUOTE(FM11 @ May 12 2016, 05:54 PM) *
Uh... this could hinder piracy to some extent but there will be people that find ways to rip music online so... yeah.

And also people will have to pay £10 (more or less) subscription to play music they want, compared to 99p for a song (I know Spotify streaming is free but let's not count it)? Sounds cheap.

Well, if ever Apple does get rid of selling downloads. It's being denied to be true. No need to be so upset for now.


Of course they're going to deny it. The record labels don't want it so they're not going to upset them now.
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richie
post May 13 2016, 07:44 AM
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But they aren't killing off the formats are they? So, labels and smaller sites will still be able to offer MP3 downloads as a format for those who want them.

It took me a long time to go to streaming, but I love it now. I can't really detect any difference in quality. I'm 100% streaming and records now. CDs and downloads are a thing of the past.
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ChristmasEve201
post May 13 2016, 10:36 AM
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How difficult is it to stream songs to listen to outside of wifi areas?
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