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



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.”


  • Not sure how I see Music as an “older product”.

  • Dominic Buteau

    This really gets me upset I have purchased thousands upon thousands of songs with Apple. This really cuts deep, but the latter point about phasing out old systems is a legacy that they have successfully done time and time again. I guess I’ll to jump to Google if that’s the case as I don’t want to pay for internet and I don’t need to pay for a monthly bill without being able to possess an album like when Zune was in existence.

  • SOB

    I agree with u. We might be in the minority but I rather purchase my music vs doing a monthly subscription.

  • Update: Apple says this is not true. Pretty sure we all knew that.

  • TJ

    I with you on this. I have bought all my music through iTunes for the past 8 years. I don’t think we are the minority.

  • Jaime

    We use to buy music and receive physical item (cd cassette 8 track disc etc) you could collect them, give them, leave them for your grand kids. Or sell your entire collection on eBay.

    Try that with a subscription? ;-(

    I’m going back to buying physical items. LOL

  • That could work for countries other than Canada. With our meager data plans that cost an arm and a leg, people don’t stream as much as in the USA for example. My US plan is 10gb and T-Mobile doesn’t count music streaming(and some video sources) as data.