Apple Offers Rare Response to iTunes Download Shutdown Report


At the risk of fueling the fire, Apple has now responded to our Wednesday report relating to a near-term shutdown of its iTunes music download offering.

The denial represents a rare move for a company that almost never responds to media inquiries.  Instead, Apple prefers to deliver media information via carefully-worded press releases, statements, and events, with direct conversations with journalists almost unheard of.

“Our response is that it is not true, we are not shutting down iTunes downloads per your story yesterday,” Apple media executive Tom Neumayr flatly told Digital Music News.

“[The labels] don’t want the rug ripped out from under them.”

Meanwhile, sources that we could re-contact early this morning stood by their accounts.  One noted that Apple is almost certainly receiving inquiries from labels unhappy with the prospect of losing paid download sales, especially on such an aggressive timetable.  “Of course you can imagine, [the labels] don’t want to rug ripped out from under them,” one source relayed.

That extends to artists, many of whom enjoy elevated royalties from paid downloads, despite recent crashes in music download market.  Indeed, it’s likely that the ongoing collapse of iTunes music downloads is now wreaking further havoc on delicate label balance sheets, with streaming royalties failing to account for the difference.


Separately, Digital Music News itself is now getting attacked for publishing the story, with comments including accusations of rumor-mongering, fabrication, plagiarism, click-baiting, and Spotify hatred.  All of those are from unidentified commenters, and could tie back to the company itself (not to mention rival publications).

We stand by our sources, and our story.

12 Responses

  1. Adam

    Paul – did you contact Apple before publishing your initial piece?

  2. Anonymous

    “We stand by our sources”

    And so you should. I just hope they’re wrong.

  3. Remi Swierczek

    Mr. Cue has been convinced by Jimmy Iovine and his ex-employer UMG to participate in MASSIVE MUSIC INDUSTRY STREAMING SUICIDE !
    Spotify, AppleMusic, Deezer, TIDAL, PANDORA, SIRIUSXM, YouTube and Google Play
    actively SHRINK I repeat SHHRRRINNKK $200B of music goodwill obvious to an
    IMBECILE to $20B of subs & ads! (Check data from the expert Mark Mulligan)

    Only united effort of the industry and mega stars can change current status quo.
    Very unlikely:
    RIAA is stuffed with zombies.
    IFPI is Daniel Ek’s leash.
    No comment on labels.

    Last hope is to convince Google, the master KAPO of music concentration camp to BE FAIR to creators and own brilliant future with music.

    Whoever can access Larry Page, the MOONSHOT SEEKER, let he him know that he can triple his Google on music by 2025!

  4. Nicky Knight

    Paul I must admit I thought the publishing of the iTunes being shutdown story was just made up nonsense based on hearsay and what not.

    I am glad that Apple has dispelled those rumors.

    • Lone Gunman

      On my way to New York City to do quite a many mass murders . I’m going to blast my way into the bank and
      behead the security guards first–before I throw it
      behind the teller’s counter. ‘ Tell , Jamie Diamond , to bring his ass on down or I’m going to blow a hole into the back of his customer’s brain and use it for a sniper’s nest to take down any and all things moving inside my perimeter’.

  5. Beltane

    Kudos Paul. Speaking as a musician and a DJ, I dumped iTunes years ago when it’s own update destroyed itself, yes you heard me right. It’s a bloated peace of rubbish that only serves to slow down your computer anyway. Streaming is KILLING MUSICIANS, if people want to save musicians they should not stream the devil incarnate spotify or download from iTunes, they should download from bandcamp, who in my experience and believe me I have tried them all, are the ONLY company that put’s musicians first, but still delivers that great price to the public.
    However we live in sad times where most sheeple are simply brainwashed by mass media and would rather spend £300 on a designer coffee than a mere 99p for a musicians blood sweat and tears.

  6. Thermomedoros

    I just want to say that I applaud you for weathering the resulting storm and getting news like this out there in the first place.

  7. Murray

    BANDCAMP + any free music player

    I’ve stuck with my own personal collection of MP3s, on my hard disk, throughout this whole ride.

    I can see the benefits of streaming services, especially for discovering music, and for convenience in some situations. And I can see a future in that, which services customers and musicians, if the terms are worked out right.

    But I’m also very happy listening to things I like, from my own storage media. Thank you very much.

    Never purchased a thing from Apple. Overpriced, considering there’s nothing manufactured, shipped, or sold across a counter by a human. And then stuck inside certain players and services.

    No thanks.


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