Apple Inc. will close its music download business within two years, says recent speculation. Music downloaders and the music industry are worried after the speculation that the iPhone maker may shut down its music download business in favor of a streaming-only service. Though iPhone maker issued a quick denial, the rumors have been making rounds since then, as per Kim Linekin – an “On The Coast” pop culture columnist.
What would Steve Jobs have done?
In an interview with the “On The Coast” host Stephen Quinn, Linekin said that a credible source claimed that the move was under consideration because it is something that Steve Jobs would have done. Jobs had a policy of aggressively phasing out old technology while it was still making money, so he could push the next big thing.
“If you milk the old stuff dry you run the risk of having too many competing, confusing products on the market at once,” she said.
In 2012, downloading peaked, and it has been declining fast ever since in favor of streaming, said Linekin. In addition to this, the users of the Apple products have complained that Apple’s Music streaming service overlaps in confusing ways, or even cannibalizes, the iCloud music library, the iTunes Match service and the iTunes store.
Apple Music is believed to be the number two music streaming service globally, with 13m subscribers. Also, the iPhone maker is quite well-positioned to keep gathering users and wait for streaming to be more profitable as its parent company has enough money to run the service at a loss for a while.
The amount of money going to the artists is too low, so even when the streaming continues to grow, the business model has come under attack from some of the music artists. Some common examples are Adele, Radiohead, Taylor Swift and the now-departed Prince.
“According to [an] anonymous record executive, artists are better off staying independent than signing with anyone … so indie labels might disappear along with downloading,” Linekin said.
Apple CEO charms Indian PM
Meanwhile, to boost the iPhone sales in India, Apple Inc. CEO – Tim Cook – charmed India during his five-day trip. A statement issued by the PM Narendra Modi’s office – after the pair met Saturday – suggests that Cook has hit the right talking points in his pitch to expand the business in the country with 1.3bn people.
The statement by the PMO office said Cook spoke of the possibilities of manufacturing and retailing in India, and appreciated the breadth of young talent in India, saying the Indian youth have significant skills, which the Silicon Valley giant would like to tap. Further, Cook mentions the immense potential for ‘app development’ present in India.
Cook’s visit follows the first quarterly sales decline for Apple Inc. in 13 years. Also, 11% decline was seen in China, the second-largest market of the iPhone maker. Last year, sales of the iPhone rose 56% in India.