23 Comments

Summary:

Is Apple getting ready to build its first Android app? Declining digital music sales may force the company to break with long-held beliefs.

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Apple executives are looking for ways to deal with declining digital music sales, and options discussed with record label executives apparently include the launch of a Spotify-like music subscription service as well as the idea to use — gasp! — Android for iTunes music sales, according to a Billboard report. Billboard cautions that these currently are just ideas being floated, but both would break with long-held beliefs within Apple.

Steve Jobs famously argued that people don’t want to rent music, and the company has steered clear of any subscription offering ever since. However, in the face of double-digit declines for digital music downloads, subscriptions may look like an increasingly attractive option. Sales of digital songs are down 11 percent year-over-year, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Apple made a first step towards music services when it launched iTunes Radio last year, but a paid subscription service would go significantly further.

The idea that Apple would build an Android app for iTunes seems just as controversial. Sure, Apple did bring iTunes to Windows, but that move was largely meant to increase iPad and iPhone sales. An Android app wouldn’t have such a clear purpose, and be more of an admission that around the world, Android handset sales have been stronger than iPhone sales.

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  1. Hiram Walker Friday, March 21, 2014

    Why bother? Android users don’t buy much anyway.

    1. I think the issue here may be more multi-platform users. People who have an iPad but also an Android phone, and may be less likely to buy downloads from Apple if hey can’t be played back on both devices…

    2. And by the sounds of it, Apple users are buying less too.

      I wouldn’t use it.

      I buy my content where I want, and drag and drop.

      I don’t need to be told where I can buy/rent stuff, and I don’t need a huge app to be able to use it.

      1. Aha! Mike, we agree on something!!

        I buy CDs and rarely get anything on iTunes unless I’m given a gift card.

        There are 3 reasons:
        1. Backup.
        2. Quality.
        3. I can’t think of a single song/album released in the 21st century that I would spend money on.

    3. Android doesn’t need it. We have Google Play Music. iTunes sucks.

      1. Plus Apple locked down iTunes so only Apple devices can use it.

        1. Windows users have had iTunes for years which is why Apple sold a boat load of iPod, iPhones, etc.

          1. Plus I’m not saying its perfect and there are other alternatives on Apple devices so it’s not like they are locked into just iTunes.

          2. Indeed. iTunes for Windows was available long before the itouch, iphone or iPad was a glint in anyone’s eye. I would argue that it’s what made the original ipod so successful. The iPod wasn’t going anywhere until itunes and the iPod could be connected to the much larger Windows user base.

    4. Glad you could share the results of your extensive market research.

  2. Steve Chavez Friday, March 21, 2014

    I think an Android app would be a good idea if there’s money in it. It’s good for Google to have a presence on Apple devices in some ways. Apple needs to see their competitors in the same way if their platform is relevant. Now if the competitor has a platform that cannot get traction… Apple should not develop to help their platform. However, at this point Android will continue to succeed either way. Apple is simply broadening their reach for their music services. This act will not suddenly pull iPhone users from the iPhone platform. However, the App that they build should should not be like what they did with Safari or iTunes on Windows. If they build it they’ll need to make it FOR the platform they’re building on…

  3. “be more of an admission that around the world, Android handset sales have been stronger than iPhone sales.”

    I hear Ford sold more cars than BMW last year. When will the Bavarian auto maker admit they’ve lost and just fold up shop?

    1. Great comment!

    2. “When will the Bavarian auto maker admit they’ve lost and just fold up shop?”

      When they start making things with commodity parts from China that are outdated 3/4ths of the time and even though they try to pretend like they’re a luxury brand, they’re just a mass market product with a fancy logo on it.

      1. In other words, when BMW becomes the opposite of BMW. Just some dumb brand that only Americans are stupid enough to buy. You follow?

  4. Not. Gonna. Happen.

  5. Mark Sanderson Saturday, March 22, 2014

    Why would it be an admission that they are losing. Is Google putting Maps, Earth, Hangouts etc on iOS an admission that Apple is winning.

    1. Yes, profit wise Apple is winning if making money is a part of having a business.

  6. Thomas Sachson Saturday, March 22, 2014

    Great idea. They should embrace and build-in toll-free data along with it (www.freebandtechnologies.com).

  7. For the record, Apple supported Windows almost 4 years before the iPhone shipped, making the iPod (not iPhone) a mainstream product. I think Apple wants much more than music sales.

    iTunes is Apple’s on-line content commerce site, trusted by about 1/2 billion users – above average in purchasing power. They want to broaden access to all available platforms.

    1. Except it’s not going to happen, there is no profit in it.

      1. Retired in south florida Danox Sunday, March 23, 2014

        Huh????? That’s not correct.

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