Apple is in talks with the big music labels to launch an on-demand music streaming service that would give Spotify and Beats Music a run for their money, as well as a new version of iTunes for Android users.
Billboard cites three people familiar with the talks as saying that, “Apple has opened exploratory talks with senior label executives about the possibility of launching an on-demand streaming service that would rival Spotify and Beats Music.
The report adds, “Apple is also thinking about adding an iTunes App for Android phones, the Google rival that has been growing faster than the iPhone, these sources said.”
There is but a single reason behind Apple’s initiatives: declining music sales at the hand of on-demand streaming services like the aforementioned two. It isn’t clear if Apple is planning a feature expansion for iTunes Radio or an altogether new app.
“They are feeling out some people at labels on thoughts about transitioning its customers from iTunes proper to a streaming service,” one major label source reportedly added.
“So when you buy a song for $1.29 [€0.94], and you put it in your library, iTunes might send an e-mail pointing out that for a total of, say, $8 [€5.80] a month you can access that song plus all the music in the iTunes store. It's all in the 'what if' stage.”
An Apple spokesman obviously declined to comment on the matter, as the Cupertino giant has a policy to never respond to media inquiries on rumors.
Apple’s initiative to tap on-demand music streaming isn’t at all surprising. In fact, the company was said to be working on something like this even before iTunes Radio rolled out.
However, the bit about Apple porting iTunes to Android is particularly tasty. This contradicts a statement made by Steve Jobs in 2011 when he said, “We thought about whether we should do a music client for Android. We put iTunes on Windows in order to sell more iPods. But I don’t see an advantage of putting our own music app on Android, except to make Android users happy. And I don’t want to make Android users happy.”
However, not much later the newly-instated CEO, Tim Cook was quoted as saying, “Apple has no religious issue porting an iOS app to Android if it made sense.” So there you have it. Cook isn’t going to let Jobs’ personal vendetta with Google / Android ruin what can be a lucrative business for Apple, and a great new product for the user base.