Apple to change music game again?
Apple Inc. is expected to announce the launch of a revamped music service next week, the Wall Street Journal reported. Industry experts not only see this as a “watershed moment” for streaming, but also one that could significantly alter the iTunes Music Store that changed the music game in 2003.
Download sales dropped 14 percent for iTunes last year — the largest in its existence, according to NPR, and Spotify, Pandora and YouTube took blame. Apple-owned streaming services Beats Music and iTunes Radio have failed to compete with Spotify, which boasts 86 percent of the streaming market, according to the Journal.
Apple has an answer, though, in the form of a rumored $10, ad-free streaming service.
“People familiar with Apple’s thinking say the company is prepared to cannibalize its download business in favor of streaming,” the Journal said. “Apple’s push may include prompting people who download a $10 album to instead subscribe to the streaming service for $10 a month, those people said.”
Apple’s overhaul will also reportedly include iTunes Radio channels hosted by guest DJs, who could include Drake, Pharrell and David Guetta, according to the New York Post.
And all of Apple’s changes to its music app, the Journal reported, should also be available on Androids.
These potentially major changes should not scare (clever) artists, though, said Tim Trudeau, CEO of digital distribution company Syntax Creative, which has contracts with Apple and competitors.
“We’ve been here before.” said Trudeau, who used to run a label, Syntax Records, that printed CDs. “Whether it was the transition from vinyl to cassette, cassette to compact disc, or compact disc to digital download … Those who act like the sky is falling were never in the music business to begin with. They were in the compact disc business or the digital download business. Streaming is just the newest avenue for music consumption. Those who have the ability to adapt and figure out a way to navigate these streams will be just fine.”
If you are an artist, are you excited about Apple/iTunes going this route, or do you think it is a bad move?