According to Digital Music News, Apple is moving away from music downloads with a view to completely eradicate downloads by 2019.
Paul Resnikoff of DMN reported on the process:
“Apple is aggressively scheduling a phase-out of music downloads from the iTunes Store, according to multiple sources tied into the platform or working at the company itself. The termination has been in motion since 2016, when sources first tipped the story to Digital Music News.”
While Apple refuted the reporting of the story, Resnikoff’s sources even broke down specific details as to how Apple plans on working in past downloads into a new platform based completely on streaming.
“According to details shared, the company would migrate a user’s iTunes download collection towards a brand-new Apple Music account. Then, as part of a three-month transitionary trial account, a user’s entire collection would be migrated into streaming equivalents. All previous playlists and details would also be translated.”
So basically, music that you downloaded in the past would be sorted into a new Apple Music account that would host collected music. Seems like a lot of extra steps just to access some shit that you illegally downloaded back in 8th grade.
DMN further reported that the success of Spotify, which Apple Music head Jimmy Iovine recently criticized, is informing the move to exclusively streaming:
“Despite numerous entrenched advantages, Apple Music remains heavily behind the Swedish leader. At last count, Spotify had more than double the amount of Apple Music subscribers. Spotify counts 60 million paying subscribers, while Apple Music has yet to just reached 30 million.”
But in lieu of Iovine’s comments that streaming isn’t profitable, coupled with reports that Tidal and SoundCloud barely have enough money to make it through a calendar year, this is a pretty aggressive move from Apple Music. It may end the idea of owning music as we know it.
It’s definitely unfortunate for anyone that devoted themselves to collecting a massive library of music, especially if you paid for it. It’ll be interesting to see how unlicensed music that was previously downloaded on iTunes fits into the new model.
Regardless, it’s clear that everyone is moving full steam ahead into the world of streaming.