Apple rumored to be in talks for Android iTunes app and on-demand streaming service

Apple launched iTunes Radio in 2013, but is an on-demand streaming service in the works?

Apple is still on top of the digital music business with iTunes but now the company's download business model is facing lower sales. That could be the reason why Apple is rumored to be thinking about launching an on-demand streaming service, along with finally expanding iTunes to Android devices.

Apple did launch iTunes Radio in 2013 as part of iTunes 11.1, but that service only gives users a limited amount of control over the music they hear. Billboard reports, via unnamed sources, that Apple is currently in early talks with music publishers about offering a steaming service similar to Spotify where users would pay a subscription fee in exchange for full control over streaming music from a library of tracks. The same story says that Apple has thought about spinning off iTunes Radio out of the iTunes and into its own streaming app.

The article also says that Apple may finally be considering opening up iTunes to Android smartphones and tablets. Google's mobile OS is installed on the vast majority of smartphones worldwide, while iTunes is available only on iOS, Mac and Windows desktop devices.

While iTunes still rules as the world's largest music download service, Nielsen SoundScan says that digital album sales in the U.S. were down 13 percent for the week that ended March 13 compared to 2013. Meanwhile revenues from streaming services (which include ads, subscriptions and licensing) were up 39 percent in 2013 compared to 2012 in the U.S.

Source: Billboard | Image via Apple

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Red Folio case causes damage to Nexus 7

Next Story

AT&T executive fires shots at Netflix over net neutrality, calls Netflix CEO "arrogant"

17 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

This should be interesting. Think I'm looking forward more to seeing the apple haters here on neowin and the comments they come up with.

After a horrific experience in the past, I don't let iTunes (or anything else Apple) get even close to my Windows computers. So I damn sure am not going to let it near my Android phone. Not a chance!

It'll be interesting to see the reaction to this if its true.

When MS started doing this, many claimed it was a signal of the downward spiral for their platforms.

It would also be interesting to see if Apple would put out something that is clearly inferior to the version on iOS in order to keep an 'advantage' for their own platform.

I have never liked iTunes (on Win at least) it was incredibly bloated and performed poorly, although I must admit it did have a few nice features such as being able to drag a selection out of the application to copy the selected tracks to, say a flash drive.

That aside, iTunes has much remained the same and IMO not really brought anything new to the market unless you own an Apple mobile device. Not a bad thing in itself (its an apple product for other apple products) however its success depends nearly entirely on people owning Apple mobile devices. If you move away from Apple no one cares for iTunes because they have no use for it. This is what is happening - people are migrating to other services and as such are either ditching iTunes because it doesn't support their device and/or other services offer better options.

Example - Spotify, available in most territories and supports iOS, WP, Desktop and Android. Now with Spotify If you end your subscription of course you loose access on mobile devices and have ads BUT if you change from iOS --> WP and used iTunes you'd basically loose your iTunes library (assuming you'd bought it all on iTunes) If you managed your library with Spotify you don't risk having to loose your music because it's independent of the device. Now spotify is far from perfect (even with premium I can't listen to my acct on more that one device at a time, and it's an absolute pig to manage music) regardless, you get the point. Streaming services are taking over because of their independence.

iTunes can only exist with Apple mobile customers as it has little benefit to desktop users who can choose from pretty much any desktop based media player, including competitors like Google Play Music and MS's Music streaming service.

TL/DR - I see this as a likely move as it enables cross platform support and will help retain a marketable user base and encourage iOS users to continue using the iTunes service if they migrate to a different OS as well as compete with other streaming service models.

A subscription streaming service with full access to their library!? if you can save the media to devices assigned to the account then.. shut up and take my money!

I remember saying this when we thought we would never run Windows on a Mac or that Mac would never use an Intel Chip.
So I see it quite possible. Don't question the influence of $$$. Android still holds the larger market share and diversity. It would be a smart move.

@Duckie37 I believe that's because the discrepancy of windows and mac user installed base that's really too hard for Apple to ignore it and the mac hardware have nothing to lose by allowing the user to choose whether or not it can run windows on it because they earn more profit from the hardware rather than software so it's definitely a WIN WIN regardless of giving them a choice.

However, i don't see the same kind of benefit by porting itunes store for android because it will only result in less reason to buy iOS device and that's grave mistake that can dramatically decline iPhone or iPad sales in the future. It won't profit as much as mac or iPhone hardware by selling iTunes music. So it's definitely not a good strategy for increasing the overall digital music sales.