iTunes is just barely old enough to vote, but that won’t save it from its corporate-mandated demise. Following the growing trend toward streaming music, Apple is pulling the plug on iTunes, a decision that will be announced at the next WWDC by CEO Tim Cook.
Blooomberg reports that iTunes will be replaced by “a trio of new apps for the Mac”: “Music,” “TV” and “Podcasts.”
The move matches the company’s strategy for iOS apps. Music libraries will be controlled through the Music app.
iTunes launched in January 2001 and helped legitimize the consumer shift to MP3s and digital music with the launch of the iTunes Music Store in 2003. It later became the method for activating iPhones and installing software updates, which was phased out in 2011. Apple had earlier tried to strap a social networking service on to iTunes – the long-forgotten “Ping” – as well as serving as a platform for the company’s early offerings in ebooks and video.
Revenue from iTunes music downloads reached a peak of $3.9 billion in 2012. MP3 download sales have been in freefall ever since. Morgan Stanley estimated that MP3 sales from the iTunes store would decline by 16% annually and crash out in 2023.
Few DJs in our community stocked their crate with mp3 downloads from iTunes, though it’s undoubtedly a sign of the times that Apple has decided that the iconic brand which started it all (at least in terms of successful mp3 download sites) seems too old fashioned for 2019. Streaming DJ options are increasing and undoubtedly will continue to draw attention, like it or not.