iTunes Radio isn’t doing much in terms of profit for Apple, and the company has had it with the failed attempts to revive its declining music business. Its next move is to completely revamp the iTunes Store interface, and by that they mean a major interface overhaul coupled with porting the platform to Android.
People familiar with the situation are telling Billboard that “The failure of iTunes Radio to halt the decline of music downloads has prompted Apple Inc. to consider the most dramatic overhaul of its iTunes music store in more than a decade.”
A senior label executive reportedly said, “iTunes Radio hasn’t solved the problem of refreshing the iTunes store. While listeners are clicking the buy buttons, the traffic it is driving is in the low single digits of listeners.”
Apparently, the service generates 1%-2% “buy” clicks, and overall music downloads have been declining some 15 percent since 2012, according to unnamed label executives.
“One independent label said that iTunes’s share of the label’s revenue has eroded from more than 70% in 2012 to about 50% today,” the report adds.
This is happening because YouTube, Spotify, Pandora and other streaming services continue to gather momentum, rather than lose customers to iTunes Radio, as Apple had initially hoped.
“As a result, Apple is being forced to consider options that would have been out of the question a few years earlier – an on-demand streaming service, an iTunes store for Google’s Android devices and negotiating download sales windows that favor Apple,” the article notes, reiterating a previous report by the publication.
Apparently, porting iTunes to Android is not as impossible as some may have thought. In fact, the situation can well be likened to the time Apple ported iTunes to Windows. When the situation calls for it, the Cupertino company knows when to swallow its pride and do what the industry asks it to do.
Another executive said that iTunes Radio’s lack of success “is driving the types of conversations they are having. They know iTunes has to change radically, but they still don’t know which way it will go. But it will be completely different in three to five years. They are committed to making that happen.”
WWDC14 will undoubtedly yield a preview of OS X 10.10, which may also bear the first clues towards this iTunes redesign, or even the fully revamped app. The announcement that iTunes is coming to Android may be held until later in fall, when the company is likely to launch a new iPhone.