The Strategist

Apple to close iTunes

12/18/2017 - 14:08

Apple may discard its online music store iTunes Store. The complete closure of the service is supposedly scheduled for 2019. The reason for this is a sharp decline in downloads of songs and albums, as users are gradually moving to the streaming model of content consumption.

Several newspapers, referring to anonymous sources, reported about Apple's imminent plans to close its iTunes Store music store by 2019. The reason for this could be a drop in sales of the service.

At the beginning of the XXI century iTunes became an integral part of the digital music revolution. The online store iTunes Store was first introduced on April 28, 2003 by Apple founder Steve Jobs, who insisted that the tracks were sold not only as part of the album, but also by the piece.

iTunes Store appeared in the heyday of Internet piracy, but simultaneously during the commercial success of iPods. The latter undoubtedly became one of the main reasons for its great popularity.

iPod, the first generation of which appeared in 2001, almost instantly won the hearts of music lovers around the world and became the best-selling music player of the year. During Apple’s presentation in 2007, Jobs said that the company sold a one hundred million iPod.

The difference between the iPod and other players was a strict binding to iTunes, and, as a consequence, the iTunes Store. As a result, the more iPod fans appeared, the more people used Apple’s online store from.

A few years later, iTunes Store was expanded. Now it sells not only music tracks, but also movies, TV shows and books. Apple regularly updates its service - the last update was released in the fall of 2017.

But along with the update there were rumors that the service would be closed soon, and the whole process should be completed by 2019. It is reported that the reason for this was a fall in the number of downloads over the past few years.

According to the Nielsen report, this year the number of purchased tracks fell by 24.1%, and this trend is expected to continue in the next year. The forecasted drop may amount to 30% or even more.

All users of the iTunes Store should be transferred to the streaming service Apple Music, after which the online store will be closed forever. By the way, Apple Music and competing services, such as Spotify or TIDAL, are the possible culprits for the drop in the popularity of the iTunes Store.

The model of music consumption has changed significantly since 2003. Now, users prefer to buy a monthly subscription, rather than download songs or albums for further listening.

Experts believe that the rejection of iTunes and the transfer of all users to Apple Music may be part of Apple’s plan to increase the audience of its streaming service, which is losing to Spotify. The latter has 60 million paid subscribers, and Apple Music’s audience reaches 30 million in total.

However, Apple itself denies all the rumors and calls them unreliable, so the future fate of the company’s music services is yet to be determined.