iTunes To Be Shut Down By Apple After 18 Years: Reports

Apple is set to its iTunes download service which was once touted to be the potential means for survival of the music industry in the digital era.

The app for iTunes would be preplaced by three separate apps for music, TV and podcasts and this is set to be announced soon by Apple according to a report by as news published by Bloomberg. The report states that this is the iPhone maker’s latest strive to establish itself in the industry of entertainment services instead of it being regarded as a hardware company that only deal sin gadgets such as the iPhone, laptops and smartwatches.

He news report states that this announcement would likely be made by Apple chief executive, Tim Cook, in his keynote address at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California. It is further expected that the speech – indicating the future direction for Apple, would also focus on software updates and the new approach of Apple to apps.

An output of the revolutionary thinking of the founder CEO of Apple Steve Jobs, iTunes was launched on 9 January 2001 and had offered a unique platform for music storage for users which could be used to store songs in digital formats instead of VDs. Users were allowed to purchase tracks legally rather than using popular peer-to-peer file sharing sites such as Napster, through iTunes in 2003.

“The attraction of Napster was not just that it was free, but more importantly, it gave people a way to connect with pretty much any piece of music,” the former Warner Music vice-president Paul Vidich told Rolling Stone in 2013. “What Steve was doing with iTunes was to replicate that type of experience – a vast catalogue, available on a singles basis, with a convenient interface. It had to be easier than Napster.”

According to Vidich, despite the efforts by other tech companies such as Microsoft and Sony contemplating at times to launch music stores, they “weren’t companies that had demonstrated Apple’s sophistication with regard to software”. “It really took a company that was able to bridge those two things and come up with an attractive consumer product.”

But with the introduction of streaming models by companies such as Spotify, the “music’s most radically democratic era” began which quickly made iTunes old fashioned.

Despite the challenge from streaming services, iTunes attempted to stay competitive and its launch of Beyoncé’s eponymous fifth album in December 2013 saw it selling 828,773 copies on the iTunes Store in the first few days of its surprise release. “I didn’t want to release my music the way I’ve done it,” Beyoncé said in a statement. “I am bored with that. I feel like I am able to speak directly to my fans.”

And with Apple launching its Apple Music in 2015, it seemed just a matter of time that iTunes would come to an end. There were rumors that iTunes would not be continued by Apple after 2020. This is because Apple Music clearly signaled that Apple was shifting form the traditional downloading model and shifting towards a streaming service model.

There were no comments on the story available from Apple in the media.

(Adapted from TheGuardian.com)

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