Recent reports suggest Apple is considering killing off iTunes, specifically its LP (long-play) music download functionality, in lieu of a Spotify-like subscription model.
As reported by Metro, in a leaked email to music industry personnel, Apple declared ‘the end of iTunes LPs’, sparking speculation its considering terminating the sale of music downloads.
According to Apple jargon, LPs refer to a specific music bundle, which commentators state will now be removed from iTunes stores throughout 2018.
The news ignites former rumours Apple is considering moving towards a monthly subscription fee, rather than the sale of individual songs.
The leaked email was reportedly sent nearly two weeks ago, signed by ‘The Apple Music Team’ from an ‘The iTunes Store’ address.
Within the email, Apple revealed it “will no longer accept new submissions of iTunes LPS after March 2018”.
“Existing LPs will be deprecated from the store during the remainder of 2018. Customers who have previously purchased an album containing an iTunes LP will still be able to download the additional content using iTunes Match”.
When queried by Metro, an Apple spokesperson denied it’s planning to shut down the iTunes Music store, and cease selling music downloads.
MIDiA Research music industry analyst, Mark Mulligan, previously predicted Apple would close its iTunes Music store by 2020. In light of the leaked email, Mulligan affirms “it tells us where the market is going”.
Mr Mulligan asserts there’s still money to be made from selling music downloads, and claims that at this stage its “unlikely” Apple will discontinue the service altogether.
Following the rise of music streaming platforms (e.g. Spotify and Deezer) music download sales have significantly decreased.
With over 70 million subscribers, Spotify is currently the world’s largest music service. However, recent reports predict Apple Music could dethrone Spotify by the end of the year.