Apple Will Reportedly Shut Down Beats Music, Layoff Related Employees [u]

According to a new report from TechCrunch, Apple is rumoured to shut down Beats Music:

Apple will discontinue the streaming music service Beats Music it acquired in May, according to five sources, including several prominent employees at Apple and Beats. Many engineers from Beats Music have already been moved off the product and onto other projects at Apple, including iTunes. It’s not clear when exactly Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre’s music service will be shut down or what Apple will do with streaming, but every source with knowledge of the situation that we talked to agreed Apple plans to sunset the Beats Music brand.

Hints the Beats Music brand may be gone? The lack of the app being preinstalled on iPhone 6 devices, plus the lack of any mention at the iPhone 6/Apple Watch event.

According to one source, they claim Apple may roll streaming into iTunes, while another says the company has plans to make some big music announcements in the first half of 2015. Also, one Beats Music employee told TechCrunch some teams on the non-technical side of the brand have been told to maintain “business as usual.”

Apple acquired Beats Music and Electronics for a monster $3 billion deal back in May, which many have suspected was to acquire the talent of Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre for their connections to the music industry. CEO Tim Cook discussed the value of Iovine and Beats in his recent interview with Charlie Rose.

Could this really be the end of the Beats Music brand?

Update: Apple has provided a statement to Re/code saying this story is “not true”:

Tom Neumayr, Apple’s PR rep, says the TechCrunch story is “not true” but wouldn’t go beyond that.

I can elaborate a bit more, based on conversations with people familiar with Apple’s thinking: Apple won’t shutter the streaming service. It may, however, modify it over time, and one of those changes could involved changing the Beats Music brand.

Re/code also says Apple did confirm the Beats brand may go away, but will stay in streaming music.

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