For years, Apple built its iTunes music service into a juggernaut that towered above all others. At a time when many in the music industry were worried that piracy was going to gut sales, iTunes proved that consumers are willing to pay for digital music, provided that they are using a service that is reliable and easy to understand.
The digital music sphere has continued to change, though, and iTunes no longer finds itself at the top of the pack. On-demand music streaming services, such as Spotify and Google Play, have grown in popularity by offering consumers a wide breadth of music for a set monthly subscription fee. Paid downloads from iTunes have begun to decline, and it is clear that Apple needs to evolve its service in order to keep up.
Recently, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple plans to announce a music streaming service of its own at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). Though the service has yet to be named, sources believe that Apple will charge $9.99 per month — the same as Spotify's most expensive streaming tier. It appears that Apple will rely on much of the technology it received with its recent purchase of Beats Music, created by Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre.
Apple still needs to finish deals with Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group before it can launch its streaming service. However, if it succeeds, it could offer owners of Apple devices a major selling point.
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