Apple is set to rebrand Beats Music and launch it as an iTunes service with the service pushed to every Apple device.
The move follows the $3B acquisition of the Beats brand by Apple earlier this year. Apple will include the Beats app in its latest update to the iOS operating system used on iPhones and iPads, the Financial Times in London claims.
The shift is expected to happen when Apple delivers a firmware update as soon as March 2015.
When Apple bought Beats earlier this year at a price of $3 billion, it was believed that the main interest was speaker and headphone technology, by far the most lucrative side of Beats’ business. Beats Music, an on-demand streaming service, has struggled to gain a foothold since it debuted in January. Even with Apple behind it the service is estimated to have just 110,000 subscribers, a fraction of what competitors like Pandora and Spotify have achieved.
It’s typically believed that Beats Music will leveraged to build on-demand options into iTunes. In recent years the digital music industry has been shifting away from downloads, but Apple has been unable to keep up, despite launching iTunes Radio in September 2013.
The move into streaming music threatens the dominance of market-leader Spotify and Apple by pre-installing the app on millions of iPhones and iPads, around the world has an “excellent” opportunity to take a dominant position in the subscription music business claims analysts.
However, the value of streaming music services to artists has recently come under scrutiny after Taylor Swift pulled her entire music catalogue from Spotify.
Ms Swift said that the amount paid to her in royalties from Spotify undervalued her work.
Spotify has rejected that claim.