No More iTunes On macOS: Apple discontinues music-subscription service


Netflix rival Apple TV+ launches on November 1, priced at $4.99/£4.99 per month. In the first half of 2019, paid subscriptions to Apple Music and competing services rose 30% from a year earlier to 61 million, or $2.8 billion, while revenue from digital downloads fell almost 18% to $462 million.

Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst at Bernstein, said it was a "genius" move for Apple to give away 12 months of Apple TV+ for free to new buyers of iPhones, iPads and Macs.

Sources familiar with the matter tell the Financial Times that some labels are open to the idea but that at least one big name has expressed concern.

Apple is reportedly in the early stages of negotiating with major record labels with regard to bundling Apple Music and Apple TV+ into a single package deal. The super bundles could come in tiers, with each tier bundle having a different offering and a different price.

When including Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade and Apple News+ into one subscription, users would pay around $30 per month - so introducing a bundle could see Apple offering all four core services for less than $20, incentivizing customers to subscribe.

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Apple TV Plus hasn't launched yet, but Apple has already considered packaging its on-demand video service with its streaming music service, Apple Music.

Apple TV+, a streaming video service with original shows, launches on November 1 for £5 a month - cheaper than Netflix, which recently increased its United Kingdom tariff to £8.99.

When it comes to music, however, Apple is at the mercy of the record labels and whatever licensing agreements it can work out. It's also possible that Apple may tie some of this in with other services or bundles, such as AppleCare+ or the iPhone Upgrade Program.

However, there is a catch - a catch 22 - if you drop the Apple subscription, you lose every piece of music you have acquired. If all of these were offered for a lower monthly fee then this could help Apple get more subscribers.

In the early days, iTunes was simply a way to get music onto Apple's marquee product, the iPod music player.