According to a report from Billboard, several Apple executives discussed the future of Beats and iTunes at the pre-Grammy party last weekend. Tim Cook, Eddy Cue, and Jimmy Iovine were just a few of the Apple executives that attended the gala.
Some details of the discussions are beginning to trickle out, including a targeted spring/summer launch for a revamped Beats Music streaming service that will reportedly integrate with iOS and OS X.
“Apple would not comment on its plans (the Cupertino, Calif.-based company bought Beats Electronics for $3 billion in May 2014) for what is believed to be an all-you-can-eat music service with a modest subscription fee. The price being debated: $7.99 per month, down from Beats’ now-standard — and arguably too high — $9.99 a month, with no “freemium” model.”
The report notes that Apple doesn’t just want to be a competitor in the music business, the company wants “to be the music business.” In addition to improving Beats Music in the coming versions of iOS, the company appears to be lining up music deals directly with digital music labels.
Apple’s presence in the music business, says the insider, “is to be the music business; it’s not to compete with Spotify.”
In addition to improvements with its streaming music service, Apple is also planning some changes to iTunes. Billboard suggests that Apple is planning to remove many covers, soundalikes, and re-recordings from iTunes.
“Additionally, featured-artist sliders, previously chosen editorially, may now be determined by sales velocity, leaving some to wonder if iTunes is becoming less like a Tower Records and more of a Target — limited selection and a focus on hit titles. “Until now, iTunes has been good to the indies,” contends one vet.”
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