The rumoured relaunch of Beats Music as an Apple-branded Spotify rival may be just the start of Apple’s plans to once again become the dominant force in the music industry.
The report comes following a host of behind-the-scenes meeting held between Apple’s senior executives and their counterparts at record labels at last weekend’s Grammy Awards.
The quotes from the insider may have arisen from discussions with Tim Cook, Eddie Cue and Beats founder Jimmy Iovine who were all on hand at the annual music showcase.
It all points to Apple having something bigger up its sleeve than just streaming, although what that might be is anyone's guess right now.
Recent reports have suggested the new musical push will be spearheaded by a revamped Beats Music offering, dressed in an Apple UI. Earlier this week we brought word the firm may plotting a launch this spring/summer with iOS 8.4.
The company is reportedly mulling a monthly subscription fee which would offer value for consumers, artists and record labels, while also making up its losses as streaming replaces iTunes download sales.
The report says Apple is debating a price of $7.99 a month (around £5), which is cheaper than Spotify and most other options on the market.
Read more: Beats Solo 2 review
According to Billboard’s source, Apple sees the 800m credit cards it already has on file as the key to the success of its streaming venture. By comparison, Spotify has 15 million paying subscribers, while an additional 45 million use it for free.
The ease of sign up and billing through iTunes for those already locked into Apple’s ecosystem could be one way the firm earns a leg up on the competition in the hotly-contested streaming marketplace.