Apple has been at the forefront of the digital music revolution since the beginning and was rumored to be eyeing a shut down of what placed them squarely in that conversation. An earlier report that suggested the technology giant was eliminating music downloads from its popular iTunes store has been shut down.
An earlier report from Digital Music News shared the glum prospect of the company disallowing users to download music from its massive iTunes store around the year 2018, citing lowered returns and perhaps a shift to embrace the growing streaming market. However, it appears that the news was nothing more than hearsay after it was discovered says that downloads are not going anywhere.
“Not true,” said Apple rep Tom Neumayr.
Neumayr wouldn’t expand on that comment, except to make it clear that he was responding to both timelines proposed in today’s story from Digital Music News.
If he did want to say more, I imagine that he would argue that lots of people continue to buy downloads — and even physical discs. Case in point: Drake’s new album “Views,” which sold a million copies in its first week — which happened to be the week it was available exclusively on Apple Music and at Apple’s iTunes store.
And yes, download sales are in a steady decline and have been for some time. Download sales in the U.S. dropped from $2.8 billion in 2013 to $2.3 billion last year, according to the RIAA industry trade group.
With stiff competition between Apple Music, TIDAL, Spotify, Google Play Music and old mainstays like Pandora, it appears streaming is the next gold rush for companies across the board.