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iTunes Music sales down 14 per cent as Apple prepares to ‘fold in’ Beats Music

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Beats Music
Beats Music is likely to fold into iTunes next year

Digital music sales from Apple’s iTunes Store have dropped by a whopping 13 to 14 per cent since the start of 2014 according to The Wall Street Journal.

Sources ‘familiar with the situation’ claim there's been a much greater drop-off in sales compared to 2013, when the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry cited revenue from overall downloads had fallen 2.1 per cent.

Sales have continued to plummet as more and more people turn to streaming rather than purchasing music. Services like Spotify offer limited free music on web and mobile, while a £10 a month subscription gives users unlimited access and offline playlists.

{pullquote}In order to stem the bleeding, Apple reportedly plans to fold the Beats Music platform into iTunes next year{/pullqoute}, giving users a paid streaming option and replace some of that lost revenue.

“Apple is rebuilding Beats Music and plans to relaunch it next year as part of iTunes, according to a person familiar with the matter,” the Wall Street Journal wrote.

Today’s news comes following reports from TechCrunch, which originally brought word of Apple’s rumoured plans last month. Following those reports, there was a denial, via tech reporters favoured by Apple, claiming the firm may modify the brand rather than ditch Beats Music altogether.

Bringing Beats Music into the fold would allow Apple to launch a streaming platform with more name recognition and a whopping, built-in customer base of 400 million people.

The company also had the iTunes Radio platform, which allows users to create custom stations, and folding in Beats Music would allow Apple to have downloads, online radio and paid streaming under the same banner.

Earlier this week, reports claimed Apple would slice Beats subscription costs in half in order to compete with the big guns.

Can streaming rescue Apple’s music business? Or is it already too far behind Spotify and the rest of the streaming in crowd? Let us know your thoughts below.

Read more: iTunes Radio vs Spotify

Via: Gizmodo

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