Apple Is Probably Shutting Down Beats Music…

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Apple’s decision to give 500 million iTunes users the new U2 album (whether they wanted it or not) has some pretty interesting implications, and the bold move has led to a pretty exhausting debate.

Music ended up being a huge part of Apple’s latest keynote, but one service was practically ignored — Beats Music. To be fair, iTunes Radio was practically ignored as well, but Beats was a huge and very recent purchase and there was a real opportunity for an interesting integration.

Sources have told multiple publications that Beats Music will be shut down / the brand will be modified.

Apple told TechCrunch that reports of Beats Music being shut down are “not true”, but Apple is likely being very technical with the definition of “shut down”.

Developing Beats Music and iTunes Radio side-by-side wouldn’t make very much sense. Unlike Google, Apple is pretty thoughtful when it comes to overall brand cohesion. Ian Rogers oversees both Beats Music and iTunes Radio, so they’re already run by the same people.


Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more. Follow her on Twitter: @nine_u

22 Responses

  1. Alex

    It was obvious that it was a start-up looking for an exit strategy. Funny, a lot of people didn’t.

  2. Anonymous

    “Apple told TechCrunch that reports of Beats Music being shut down are “not true””

    Guess it won’t be shut down, then.

  3. Dry Roasted

    I’m sorry I interrupted you. You were saying how amazingly smart and strategic this deal was?

    • Nina Ulloa

      when did that happen. it totally makes sense, but i never talk about how strategic deals are.

  4. jw

    Jesus christ, Nina.

    The SOURCE of your story SPECIFICALLY says IN THE HEADLINE that “Apple’s Beats Music Service Is Sticking Around.”

    I mean… I don’t really get how you take someone else’s story, & then you just make things up out of thin air to turn it into some clickbait BS.

    I don’t know how you can even write “shut down / the brand will be modified”… how are those the same thing?

    • Nina Ulloa

      “shut down / the brand will be modified” are things that many sources told multiple publications

      *eats popcorn*

      • jw

        lmao. You think it’s ok to just combine what contradicting “sources” say into one sentence, as if they’re in agreement? Christ.

        And I LOVE that the headline goes with the “source” that directly contradicts Apple’s official statement.

        I’ve seen more respectable journalism on

          • jw

            That’s a pretty flippant response to something that seems intentionally misleading.

            The reason this bothers me is that there are people who are actively looking to have their own ideas reinforced, & they’re not going to click through to the source article. It’s sad that the philosophy here seems to be, “if it’s published somewhere, and if it will attract views, we’ll reprint it,” rather than applying any measure of critical thinking to the issue. I mean, the story is pretty clear, isn’t it? Beats Music doesn’t have a strong brand, they don’t have a lot of subscriptions. iTunes is the stronger brand, why not move the product into the iTunes family?

            There are people who are looking to extrapolate from this story that Apple is bearish on streaming, & that couldn’t be further from the truth. But for some reason, you don’t have a problem making it sound like that. What I get from this story is that Apple is more bearish on the iTunes Music Store than I thought. I thought they would keep the brands separate to extend the life of the digital download as long as possible, but it sounds like maybe not. It sounds like the plan is to actively convert downloaders to streamers.

            I mean let’s just be very clear here. Apple is not shutting down the streaming service it purchased.

  5. asdf

    I’m a reluctant Spotify Premium user. Streaming is cool obviously, but the Spotify mobile app and desk top software are just so shitty – slow to load, buggy, tough to navigate. I had hoped Apple would just buy Beats for the licenses and integrate flawless on-demand streaming into iTunes. Why this hasn’t happened yet is beyond me. WTF are they waiting for?

    • john

      asdf, what the fuck piece of shit garbage mobile device and computer are you using to access spotify. there is something wrong with your shit because on up to date stuff spotify kicks ass and i never have a single complaint.

      • Me

        Yeah, I don’t understand these kind of complaints. What is so hard to navigate about Spotify? You search for your song/album/artist and then click on it when you find it and then hit play. Starting a new playlist is super easy, too. Just click “New Playlist.” What about Spotify exactly is so hard to navigate?

        • Anonymous

          @john and @me. I use an iPhone 5s and Macbook Pro circa ’08. Both are fast, and Spotify is bullshit on both.

          Are you frequent iTunes users? If not, of course you’re going to think Spotify is hot shit. It’s not. I can get to whatever I want to hear with iTunes more reliably, more quickly, and in fewer clicks than in Spotify. I use both with equal frequency, and the Spotify experience just isn’t as good by comparison.

          • Trollhunter

            I suggest a competition where I say the name of a song and we see who is listening to it first. You with itunes or me with Spotify.
            I bet my Gibson LP you will be still be watching the itunes app start while I am well into the first verse.
            On a more serious note, your hardware needs an overhaul if you find Spotify slow cos its not slow by any definition of the word.

          • asdf

            i don’t care for pissing contests, and i’m honestly not trying to convert anybody, but there is absolutely no excuse for the spotify app on my one year old iPhone 5s to take anywhere from 5-20 seconds to load and synch my playlists. that’s not a hardware issue.

  6. Willis

    Beats. Whatever. Apple blew a ton of dough on something that will take a long time from which to recoup.

    • smart move perhaps

      Whatever happens, they eliminated a strong music brand competitor.

  7. Lisa

    Finally! Hopefully this means Beats will lose some of its pompous ego!!!!!!!!

  8. Versus

    I have 2 grand hopes for Apple’s streaming service:

    1. That it includes a design far superior to the degenerative iTunes design.
    2. That it pays music creators and rights-holders fairly.

  9. emptyfree

    Shutting down Beats would be par for the course for Apple. They bought iTunes store competitor LaLa when they started selling MP3s online. They shut them down within 6 months to a year.

    That seems to be Apple’s M.O. Find little competitors who are somewhat successful at selling MP3s online, buy them, then shut them down.