Apple rumoured to be planning Spotify rival and Android iTunes launch

We are still waiting to see iTunes Radio in the UK (and many other places too), but despite that, Apple is rumoured to be pushing ahead with more music-based projects. Surprising ones too.

According to Billboard, Apple has opened talks with senior music label bosses about the possibility of launching an on-demand streaming service that would be direct competition for Spotify. Not only that, the company is also pondering what would have been unthinkable not long ago - an iTunes App for Android phones.

The reason is down to sales numbers, with digital album sales said to be on the slide. That's in comparison to streaming services, which have seen a growth. In the US, streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora and YouTube generated $1.4bn in subscription, advertising and licensing revenues last year, up 39% from 2012. Downloads revenue was down 3.2% in the same period. That's backed up by a report from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), which says music revenue grew 51% worldwide, while downloads slipped 2.1%. You can see Apple's dilemma.

Apple is already making moves to shift its own streaming service, iTunes Radio, to a standalone app. But that might not be enough. Granted it has only had a limited launch so far, but in the US, it has failed to break the competition. A step to a 'proper' streaming service might well be necessary. Throwing in an iTunes store for a rival (and growing) platform might also help.

But if those figures are right, Apple certainly needs to do something. Perhaps before the year is out too.

Source: Billboard

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