Apple Is Planning For A Music Streaming Only Future
You've probably seen reports about how Apple is making plans for the end of iTunes as a music store. Depending on who you believe Apple has either set a date of two years in the future, sometime in the future or never in relation to the shuttering of the iTunes Music Store.
That really shouldn't be a surprise. Streaming has overtaken purchasing as the largest revenue generator for the music business as a whole, so moving its focus to Apple Music and away from the Music Store just seems like a natural response to this change.
As to shuttering the Music Store, I'm doubtful whether it is something Apple will do in the immediate future, sales of music may well be decreasing but there's a way to go before it becomes economically prudent to shut it down.
Don't be fooled though, that day is coming.
If Apple has been alive to the growth of music streaming services earlier than it was we would almost certainly have been talking about a shut down already. Apple's launch of Apple Music has garnered it 13 million users. These users haven't come from existing services either. In fact market leader Spotify has seen a faster uptake of its service since Apple Music launched than before it.
Apple's arrival has legitimised streaming services, particularly amongst the Apple fans who might have shied away from anything without Apple branding. If Apple had been on the ball and had its service ready to go even only twelve months earlier the explosive growth of streaming consumers may just have put us into a position where we really would be talking about the death of music sales.
There are some consumers who won't like it and rather more artists who will also object, but like vinyl and the CD before it, I suspect the MP3 download is a dead dodo walking.