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Apple Will Reportedly Kill Off iTunes Music Downloads By 2018 [Update: Apple Says ‘Not True’]

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According to a new report from Digital Music News, Apple is planning to terminate iTunes Store downloads in favour of Apple Music.

Annual iTunes song downloads are projected to hit almost $600 million in sales in 2019, however that figure may not be enough to keep Apple in the music-selling business. Citing sources with knowledge of Apple’s plans, the report claims it’s ‘not if, but when’ iTunes music downloads are dropped cold, with one executive saying “keeping [iTunes music downloads] running forever isn’t really on the table anymore.”

With the continued decline of music downloads, Apple is foreseeing that iTunes sales will eventually become so low that it would barely impact the company’s bottom line. So the company is reportedly abandoning that ship and devoting more resources to Apple Music. The move would also streamline Apple’s various music apps and services, which feel disparate at times.

The unnamed sources also revealed that Apple might choose to continue iTunes music sales for the next three to four years, but its more likely that they terminate them entirely by 2018.

The report notes that Steve Jobs’ legacy of phasing out older products, even if they were still profitable, could influence Apple executives to kill iTunes music downloads within the next two years.

Update: Apple representative Tom Neumayr contacted Recode and said the report that Apple would terminate iTunes music downloads in two years is “not true.”

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