iTunes Considers On-Demand Streaming and an Android App…

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Apple is reportedly trying to counteract declines in digital download sales with more Beyoncé-like exclusive albums.  But what else is iTunes doing to save itself?

Billboard reports that iTunes is discussing some major changes with label executives, changes that could pit them against Spotify and Beats Music.

These changes include a possible on-demand streaming service. In addition, Apple is also thinking about launching an iTunes app for Android.

iTunes has declined to comment on these reports.

More as it develops.

Image by *MarS on Flickr.  Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic. (CC BY 2.0)

21 Responses

  1. Dr.X

    For a site dedicated to digital music news, it has not report 2013 RIAA numbers that have been out for 3 days now:


    Streaming Revenue: $1.0328 billion USD (up 59%)
    Singles Download Revenue: $1.623.6 billion USD (up 6.7%)
    Album Download Revenue: $1.205 billion USD
    CD (physical): $2.4856 billion USD


    Streaming Revenue: $1.439 billion USD (up 39.3%)
    Singles Download Revenue: $1.569 billion USD (down 3.4%)
    Album Download Revenue: $1.234 billion USD (up 2.4%)
    CD (physical): $2.1235 (down 14.6%)

    Here’s why Itunes want to get into streaming:

    Streaming Revenue (2011): ~$650 million USD
    Streaming Revenue (2012): $1.0328 billion USD (up 59%)
    Streaming Revenue (2013): $1.439 billion USD (up 39.3%)

    • TuneHunter

      Mr. X, Those are TRAGIC NUMBERS.
      You can tell it to your friends at Spotify that without main income coming from discovery soon they will poke each others eyeballs for cash arriving from $3 subs.
      Going back to numbers, they show industry in a spin tail to ashes.

      It is 15th consecutive year of shrinkage – last year global growth of .3% did not beat inflation.
      Most important RIAA and their global partner IFPI had Fs in math or have amnesia. Sales for 2013 collapsed from 16.5 down to 15B which makes solid 9% DROP!

      See their own excitement below – they play so much golf that they sound excited even with knife in their heart.

      Going back to your streaming, I can assure you that there is no reason for any excitement. Streamers kill all methods of monetizations but YouTube style FREE surrounded by advertising. They also kill the terrestrial Radio. It is time to educate Mr. Francis Keeling (The Master ubiquity and FREE) to stop killing the business.

      “Global recorded music revenues fell by 3.9% to $15bn in 2013, despite income from subscription streaming services like Spotify and Deezer rising sharply.
      AND HERE IS IFPI 2013 BRAGGING for 2012
      “Figures published today by music industry body the IFPI in its annual Digital Music Report indicate a bump back to earth for labels after a 0.3% rise in global revenues in 2012 – the first year of growth since 1999.
      The Digital Music Report, which was unveiled today (Feb. 26) at IFPI’s London offices, placed the total trade value of Global recorded music industry revenues in 2012 at $16.5 billion, up from $16.2 billion the previous year.”

  2. Anonymous

    iTunes for Android is the right thing to do.

    But streaming doesn’t make money. So iTunes On-Demand will be the end of iTunes. Which means nobody’s going to pay the producers, writers, artists and engineers it takes to create the kind of music people want.

    Result: Nobody can afford to make new music for your children.

    • TuneHunter

      Nothing will help iTunes or Apple – they have become GM of technology. MS is not far behind!

    • PiratesWinLOL

      “But streaming doesn’t make money.”

      Please explain the latest RIAA figues, which show that the tremondous growth of streaming, is the sole reason that the total revenue from recorded music is table. In Scandinavia where streaming is even stronger, the total revenue is actually growing at a healthy rate. In backward countries however, where streaming is still new, you get results like in Japan or Australia.

      “Nobody can afford to make new music for your children.”

      Yeah, just think about all the music Bach and Mozart wouldn’t have created, if it wasn’t for MP3 and CD sales. They would have been shoveling shit all day long instead. It is not like you can expect anyone to make a living from 100 dollar concert tickets.

      • TuneHunter

        Sweden and Norway, the homeland and of Spotify, are at almost saturated state for streaming.
        I would not use Scandinavia for profitability numbers – this is show land of Spotify – they need arguments for investors!
        You will see just little growth in next few years.
        Net result: they are at 50% of 1999 in constant dollars.
        Labels have to rip self imposed shackles of FREE if they want to live.
        Otherwise musicians with the labels are destine to be cashless puppets of YouTube and streamers.

        • Anonymous

          “Sweden and Norway, the homeland and of Spotify, are at almost saturated state for streaming!”

          …and Spotify still loses money. It’s time to face the facts: Streaming failed.

          • PiratesWinLOL

            Sure, sure and Amazon failed too and should close tomorrow…

            Fact is that what matters now is the explosive growth. What they loose is peanuts and it is not like the big labels would ever allow streaming to fail. They are not stupid and would be insane to kill what will soon be their greatest source of income.

          • TuneHunter

            You are a dreamer …”labels are not stupid”? It is obvious that they are in suicide mode!

        • PiratesWinLOL

          In Denmark, we don’t have a large international streaming company and the picture is the same. What really matters is the time which the streaming services has been available in a country and figures show that for example the United States is a couple of years behind Denmark and Denmark is a couple of years behind Sweden. When speaking of growth, Sweden had a 2013 gowth of 5,1 percent, Denmark 5,2 percent and Norway 11 percent, all due to the success of streaming. Now where is your showland? Japan with a loss of 15 percent? Australia with a loss of 11 percent? This is what you get from being backwards and trying to force consumers to buy an obsolete product they no longer want.

          Also you forgot to reply to this part: “Please explain the latest RIAA figues, which show that the tremondous growth of streaming, is the sole reason that the total revenue from recorded music is table.” Streaming is all that is keeping the US away from being the disaster of Japan.

  3. Dr.X

    If TuneHunter has his/her way, then the music market should look like Japan with a physical dominant market. Download is like 10%, streaming is like 1%. Physical is like 85% or more.

    Guess what happened in 2013?

    a WHOPPING 15% drop in Japan.

    IFPI reports that if Japan # stay the same, worldwide, the drop would be just 0.3% from last year.

    • TuneHunter

      There is very simple way to double thy industry in just two years! ( especially that we are at just 15B)
      It will not come from all access streaming with all discovery tools at the fingertips or YouTube style cloud player surrounded by swarm of ads.

      Again, I totally agree streaming is the best method of delivery, there is no reverse from that. Income has to come from discovery. Get the money at the moment you serve brilliant tune. If he or she loves it and wants to live it again they have to pay just 39 cents in exchange for addition to playlist (certificate of ownership included in price) Very easy to implement – all participants: content owners, music delivery vehicles (streamers, YouTube, internet and normal Radio) and all music ID providers are subject to major PROFITS.
      Let’s start all will benefit – most stubborn, intoxicated with ads Google the most!

  4. Dr.X

    From Billboard:

    Keep in mind these are TRADE REVENUE, not RETAIL REVENUE.

    Physical: $2.6 billion USD (down from $3.05 billion)
    Digital: $403.4 million USD (down from $531.3 million)

    The RIAJ reports Japanese consumers purchased 216 million digital units of music — including singles, albums, ringtones and more — in 2013, to come in at a 20% drop from the previous year’s 271 million, at least partly due to the rise of smartphones and the sunset of ‘feature’ phones. The contraction resulted in a 23% decrease in digital revenue, with 2013 bringing in 41 billion yen (approximately $403.4 million), down from 2012’s sales of 54 billion yen (approximately $531.3 million).

    Yet again, Japan’s physical market dwarfs digital — similar to Germany’s industry — though the downward trend continued for physical purchases as well. The total value of the physical market in 2013 was 270.4 billion yen (about $2.6 billion), down from 310.8 billion yen (about $3.05 billion).


    Streaming is none existent in Japan.

  5. Dr.X

    Internet Radio Sound Exchange Distributions in 2013 was $590 million.

    Internet Radio is only about 9% of total radio.

    If Internet Radio is 45% of all radio (5 times grow from today), the payment would be $590 x 5 = $2950 million.

    If Pandora/Iheartradio grow 5 times bigger, the music industry would get almost $3 billion a year. Over the air radio doesn’t pay the music label a single penny.

    Which mean: The music labels benefit when more people to listen to Internet Radio AND they also benefit if Internet Radio pay higher royalties.

  6. Dr.X

    In 5-7 years, it could look something like this

    On-Demand Subscription: BIGGEST
    Internet Radio: Second biggest – – – – – – NEW SOURCE OF REVENUE Since terrestrial radio doesn’t pay a penny
    Digital download (album+singles): Third biggest
    CD: smallest of the 4

    • PiratesWinLOL

      Thats pretty much how it is already here in Scandinavia. In 5-7 years obsolete technology like CDs and downloads will not just be smaller, but stone dead.

  7. Yawn

    Anyone who thinks that Apple won’t at some stage launch a streaming service is nuts, They have a potential user base of 200 million +. My guess is that the service has been ready to go for ages. They are just sitting tight and waiting for the tipping point.

    I see no point at all in them spending resources on an android app for a la carte, but they would be crazy NOT to offer their streaming service to all platforms..

    • TuneHunter

      Adding Amazon (concluded coming soon) and Apple to “all inclusive” streaming is like adding more gasoline into the house fire in progress. It will kill all monetization avenues and just accelerate demolition of music industry.
      With all streaming activities and new players arriving in 2013 I had hopes for 18 billion dollars industry – net result of this rat race is 9% shrinkage to 15 billion.
      Again and again, streaming is the way to go but we have to stop exhibitionism, dress up a bit and start to live out of discovery. If all jump in we will double to 30B in 24 months and go over 100B in 2020.

      • Yawn

        No house fire where I am sitting. The “shrinking” you talk of is a transitional issue.

        • TuneHunter

          Transition will start at the moment they switch to monetization mode.
          Today they are all in pleasure for free to all mode.