Report: Apple Considering Retooling iTunes
April 9, 2014

A new report from claims that Apple is considering revamping its iTunes software, after the much-vaunted iTunes Radio service has not caught on as strongly as expected. Sources tell Billboard that iTunes Radio only gets between one and two percent of its users to hit the "Buy" button on the service. At the same time, overall digital music sales have been declining at a rate around 15 percent, according to anonymous label sources.

The report also says that Apple's influence with the record labels is "slipping," as streaming services continue to gain in popularity. One independent label told that iTunes' share of that label's revenue has dropped from over 70 percent in 2012 to around 50 percent today. The increasing popularity of Google's Android platform on mobile devices is also cited as a cause for Apple's concerns about iTunes.

Apple is reportedly considering a number of potential changes to iTunes overall, including an on-demand streaming option, allowing the iTunes Store to be available via Android devices and negotiating specific sales windows for releases.

One label executive told, "iTunes Radio hasnít 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." Another source said Apple knows that "iTunes has to change radically, but they still donít know which way it will go. But it will be completely different in three to five years. They are committed to making that happen."

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Manny Simon
VP/Adult Formats,
Republic Records

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