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  1. #1

    by » Fri December 8th, 2017, 18:50

    https://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2017/1 ... downloads/

    Just right after Xmas 2018

    Apple is scheduling a complete phase-out of music downloads from the iTunes Store by early 2019, per sources at the company.

    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.

    At that stage, the plan was to sunset music downloads ‘within 3-4 years’. Now, plummeting download sales may be creating pressure to accelerate that schedule. “More and more, [downloads] are legacy,” one source told DMN over the weekend. “That part is obvious.”

    Apple has told DMN that no such phase-out plan exists. One source has repeatedly insisted that the plan not only exists, but that it is ‘on schedule,’ or even ahead of the original schedule.

    Throughout the discussions, sources have demanded complete confidentiality. Phone conversations or personal email accounts were preferred, largely to avoid corporate monitoring of communications.

    The current timetable calls for a complete termination by 2019, shortly after the 2018 Christmas season.

    Importantly, that gives Apple two more Christmas seasons to operate. The plan minimizes disruptions among buyers, with a transition slated for a post-holiday, slower period in 2019.

    The phase-out strategy also includes a clever transition towards Apple Music, the company’s streaming platform, according to one source close to the transition. 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.

    Downloads unavailable as streams would be grayed out, pending future licensing. “But you can always go back and listen to the downloads, they always will work,” another source noted. Over time, “more stuff becomes licensed” and the grayed out collection becomes de minimis.

    But the key difference is that users won’t have access to purchase music downloads within the iTunes Store. “That road will be closed,” the source noted.

    Word of the transition is happening as music downloads continue to collapse.

    The move may be driven by data. According to details shared by Nielsen, paid downloads are crashing in 2017. During the first six months of the year, track downloads collapsed 24.1% in the US, while digital albums slipped 19.9%. Both formats are likely to drop 30% or more in 2018, eventually winnowing away to something negligible.

    Concerns of iTunes ‘Bloatware’.

    All of that is raising concerns about an overloaded iTunes, especially among Apple engineers who are increasingly frustrated with the platform. One source noted that iTunes has become a “big mess,” while another pointed to recurring “bloatware” problems that are affecting customers.

    Pulling out lower-performing formats, especially music downloads, helps to solve the issue.

    And then, there’s Spotify.

    Also informing the phase-out is a meteoric Spotify. 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.

    + Apple Music Is Available in 59 Countries That Spotify Isn’t

    And Spotify’s broader numbers are dwarfing those of Apple. Just recently, Spotify reported a userbase of 140 million active users. Apple, preferring a paid-only platform, has a far smaller audience size.

    Separately, Spotify is moving towards a high-profile Wall Street entry. And, totally overshadowing Apple Music’s ambitious efforts to overtake streaming.

    That may be causing serious frustrations within Apple.

    Just recently, Apple Music chief Jimmy Iovine splashed salt on Spotify’s success, discrediting the company’s business model and vulnerability.

    “If tomorrow morning… Amazon says, ‘Why don’t we try $7.99 for music?’ Woah, guess what happens?

    “The streaming business is not a great business. It’s fine with the big companies: Amazon, Apple, Google… Of course it’s a small piece of their business, very cool, but Spotify is the only standalone, right? So they have to figure out a way to show the road to making this a real business.”

    Sounds scary. But the reality is that Amazon Music is already sharply discounted. In fact, Amazon’s Prime-bundled streaming music plan is effectively free, yet Spotify clearly remains the market leader.

    + Forget SoundCloud, Musical.ly & YouTube: Spotlite Is the Next Talent Incubator

    That could be forcing some soul-searching at Apple, with product clarification a healthy strategic step. Indeed, Steve Jobs was notorious for pushing consumers into the future, even before they were ready for it.

    These days, innovators like Spotify are doing the pushing. All of which makes it increasingly difficult for Apple to remain in the past.

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  3. #3
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    by » Fri May 31st, 2019, 19:55

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
    But you can still buy music etc. separately? I‘m okay with that. Killing digital sales overall would be bad.

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    by » Fri May 31st, 2019, 20:28

    Quote Originally Posted by JeremySpears View Post
    But you can still buy music etc. separately? I‘m okay with that. Killing digital sales overall would be bad.
    I think you would still be able to, but we'll find out on Monday.

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    by » Fri May 31st, 2019, 20:05

    Had to be a done but RIP to a great era.

    Spotify killing music tastes one consumer at a time.
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    by » Fri May 31st, 2019, 20:30

    Interesting end to an era indeed.

    I suppose everyone must evolve to remain viable.

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    by » Fri May 31st, 2019, 21:19

    Quote Originally Posted by LastDreamer View Post
    Is it the end of sales charts ?
    I don't think iTunes impacts the charts it once did.
    Why reach for the Moon when we have the Stars.

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    by » Sun June 2nd, 2019, 20:26

    Quote Originally Posted by LastDreamer View Post
    Is it the end of sales charts ?
    There's still the physical records to make charts out of.
    One site says that places such as Japan are sticking with downloads, since broadband speeds are getting fast.

    It's possible that Apple will feature downloads in their new Operating System, for that's the road they are going down.

    But I think most people are not interested in the streaming charts, well at least in the UK.

    Charity records will suffer the most from ending downloads. They will only now appear on physical records at much greater expense to the charity.
    The worst affected will be the Eurovision Songs in the UK, they only made any impact on the OCC UK chart due to downloads. Streamers ignored them on mass!
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    by » Fri May 31st, 2019, 21:24

    Quote Originally Posted by jules25 View Post
    I don't think iTunes impacts the charts it once did.
    It 100% doesn’t but like I said killing digital sales overall is not it.

    Anyway this is what it will look like so it’s still there but like the article says it’s going to be slplit up. I‘m okay with that.


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    by » Sat June 1st, 2019, 12:08

    Will I still be able to use my iPod (classic)? Does anyone know what's going to happen with an individual iTunes library? I spent a fortune on purchasing digital albums and singles and tbh, I still buy tons of CD's and I love to keep sticking to my library, listening to my own playlists, owning music, etc.
    If these features don't disappear, I'll be fine with iTunes being split into different parts.

    P.S. I use Windows.
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  12. #12
    Last edited by TripTheTrackFantastic; Sun June 2nd, 2019 at 16:17.
    Leave the grouch out of it - just listen to music like normal people and then you might appreciate/ enjoy it

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    by » Sun June 2nd, 2019, 23:14

    At least Kylie will collect her coins and pre-order sales before the store closes.
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    Forever Young

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    by » Sat August 24th, 2019, 12:29

    What a shame I won't be making 4p for every single release
    Baaaaad relationship??
    The lyric video for my new single TRIP THE ALARM here!

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    by » Fri September 27th, 2019, 19:04

    Guys, you can't love food, but don't buy them. Same goes with music. If you love it, you buy it, yes? Now start buying the songs you love on iTunes. But first, buy the song Higher Love and stream it 10 times a day this week, because it has a another chance to go #1! Whatchuwaitin' for?

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    by » Fri September 27th, 2019, 19:10

    Quote Originally Posted by nemospence View Post
    Guys, you can't love food, but don't buy them. Same goes with music. If you love it, you buy it, yes? Now start buying the songs you love on iTunes. But first, buy the song Higher Love and stream it 10 times a day this week, because it has a another chance to go #1! Whatchuwaitin' for?
    I love your sentiment, and it would be incredible if this finally topped the charts. It's such a shame it got denied #1 status in the UK just because Ed Sheeran just happened to release a remix to a song that was never gonna top the charts as an album track. He pulled the same trick with Perfect - was never gonna be #1 with just the album version alone so it got Beyonce and Andrea Bocelli to release alternative versions and et voila he's got a #1 hit.

    The official charts can be a chore sometimes.

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    by » Tue October 8th, 2019, 01:01

    Goodbye, iTunes: Once-Revolutionary App Gone in Mac Update

    It’s time to bid farewell to iTunes, the once-revolutionary program that made online music sales mainstream and effectively blunted the impact of piracy.

    That assumes, of course, that you still use iTunes -- and many people no longer do. On iPhones, the functions have long been split into separate apps for music, video and books. Mac computers follow suit Monday with a software update called Catalina.

    Music-subscription services like Spotify and Apple Music have largely supplanted both the iTunes software and sales of individual songs, which iTunes first made available for 99 cents apiece. Apple is now giving iTunes its latest push toward the grave. For anyone who has subscribed to Apple Music, the music store will now be hidden on the Mac.

    Sidelining the all-in-one iTunes in favor of separate apps for music, video and other services will let Apple build features for specific types of media and better promote its TV-streaming and music services to help offset slowing sales of iPhones.

    In the early days, iTunes was simply a way to get music onto Apple’s marquee product, the iPod music player. Users connected the iPod to a computer, and songs automatically synced -- simplicity unheard of at the time.

    “I would just kind of mock my friends who were into anything other than iPods,” said Jacob Titus, a 26-year-old graphic designer in South Bend, Indiana.

    Apple launched its iTunes Music Store in 2003, two years after the iPod’s debut. With simple pricing at launch -- 99 cents a single, $9.99 for most albums -- many consumers were content to buy music legally rather than seek out sketchy sites for pirated downloads.

    But over time, iTunes software expanded to include podcasts, e-books, audiobooks, movies and TV shows. In the iPhone era, iTunes also made backups and synced voice memos. As the software got bloated to support additional functions, iTunes lost the ease and simplicity that gave it its charm.

    And with online cloud storage and wireless syncing, it no longer became necessary to connect iPhones to a computer -- and iTunes -- with a cable.

    Titus said he uses iTunes only to hear obscure Kanye West songs he can’t find streaming. “At the time it seemed great,” he said. “But it kind of stayed that same speed forever.”

    The way people listen to music has changed, too. The U.S. recording industry now gets 80% of revenue from paid subscriptions and other streaming. In the first half of 2019, paid subscriptions to Apple Music and competing services rose 30% from a year earlier to 61 million, or $2.8 billion, while revenue from digital downloads fell nearly 18% to $462 million.

    “The move away from iTunes really does perfectly mirror the general industry move away from sales” and toward subscriptions, said Randy Nelson, head of insights at Sensor Tower.

    Rachel Shpringer, a 35-year-old patent agent in Los Angeles, spent years curating playlists on iTunes. But over time, she realized that was cutting her off from new music. She now gets music through a SiriusXM subscription.

    The Mac’s new Music app, which gets the old iTunes icon, is the new home for -- drum roll -- music. That includes songs previously bought from the iTunes store or ripped from CDs, as well as Apple’s free online radio stations. It’s also the home for Apple’s $10-a-month music subscription.

    Apple Music subscribers will no longer see the iTunes music store, unless they restore it in settings. Non-subscribers will see the store as a tab, along with plenty of ways to subscribe to Apple Music. (On iPhones, iTunes Store remains its own app for buying music and video.)

    The iTunes store for TV shows and movies will still be prominent on Macs, though now as part of the TV app. Video available to buy or rent will be mixed in with other movies and shows -- including exclusive offerings through Apple TV Plus.

    The new Podcasts app gets a feature that indexes individual episodes, so you can more easily search for actors or fads that don’t appear in the podcast’s text description. The Mac previously got separate apps for voice memos and books, including audiobooks. The iPhone syncing and backup functions traditionally found in iTunes have been incorporated into the Mac’s navigation interface, Finder.

  19. #19

    by » Tue October 8th, 2019, 01:03

    Record labels made so much money from this. I wonder if the streaming conversion matches.
    Diva!!!

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    by » Tue October 8th, 2019, 02:02

    So, I can't buy songs individually anymore? - I still use my iPod classic... I still don't get it why they won't keep it alive. Even if streaming is more popular, it's not like 462 million $ revenue in the first half of 2019 for downloads on iTunes is something to miss....

    + I use iTunes to scrobble my tracks for last.fm as well.
    Last edited by Mainshow; Tue October 8th, 2019 at 02:04.
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    by » Tue October 8th, 2019, 13:25

    Quote Originally Posted by Mainshow View Post
    So, I can't buy songs individually anymore? - I still use my iPod classic... I still don't get it why they won't keep it alive. Even if streaming is more popular, it's not like 462 million $ revenue in the first half of 2019 for downloads on iTunes is something to miss....

    + I use iTunes to scrobble my tracks for last.fm as well.
    I think you can still purchase songs you listen to on the Music platform. But I think the iTunes store as a standalone thing will be gone, unless you change your settings - according to that article.

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    by » Tue October 8th, 2019, 09:03

    Wait a minute, I don’t care about the iTunes Store going, but the music player? What will happen to all my playlists and file tags if I update to this new player?!

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    by » Tue October 8th, 2019, 09:03

    Wait a minute, I don’t care about the iTunes Store going, but the music player? What will happen to all my playlists and file tags if I update to this new player?!

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