Science and Tech


Apple Considers Spotify Competitor, iTunes For Android

Unnamed sources tell Billboard Apple is considering launching a Spotify competitor and iTunes app for Android.
Posted at 3:47 PM, Mar 22, 2014

In the wake of slowing sales for music downloads, Apple is reportedly thinking about launching its own Spotify-like music service and iTunes for Android.

The Cupertino Company already has its music streaming service iTunes Radio, true, but that service is more akin to Pandora. It doesn't give users complete control over their music choice.

Which is something Spotify has going for it. With Spotify, users can search for specific songs and albums — no need to listen to a playlist compiled by an algorithm. 

Apple hopes the move to an on-demand streaming service boosts sales — even if that means via a monthly subscription fee.

Keep in mind the company is joining a crowd of at least, but probably more than, 41 other on-demand streaming music services, according to this handy list compiled on Wikipedia.

Still, a writer for Billboard, whose sources reported Apple's plans, reminds us iTunes Music is the largest music retailer. And a move like this one could come just as streaming services make the profit climb.  

He reports streaming services have generated $1.4 billion in revenues in the U.S. That's up 39 percent since 2012.

Download sales brought in 2.9 billion, but that's down 3.2 percent.

And while revenue for streaming music grew 51 percent internationally, downloads dropped 2.1 percent. (Via Billboard)

So when you have the largest music retailer, a popular mobile operating system, and some of the most popular mobile devices, it's not hard to start overtaking the competition. 

In fact, iTunes Radio took the number three spot in the U.S. just six months into its launch, according to Cult of Mac

Then when Apple goes and considers launching an iTunes app for Android, you can start to see how music sales would improve.

A writer for 9to5Mac reminds us of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' response to the idea of making iTunes for Android: "I don't see an advantage of putting our own music app on Android, except to make Android users happy. And I don't want to make Android users happy."

But things are a bit different under CEO TIm Cook. In response to a question during the D11 conference, Cook said "To a general question of 'would Apple port an app from iOS to Android?'​ We have no religious issue with doing that. If we thought it made sense for us to do that, we would do that." (Via The Wall Street Journal)

While the talks are reported to be in the early stages, it sounds like Apple thinks the move makes sense.