Apple to merge iTunes with Beats Music as download sales fall?

Apple is considering combining Beats Music, the music streaming service it recently purchased, and iTunes in an attempt to revitalise its music download service. iTunes sales are believed to be down by as much as 14% year-on-year worldwide.

If that's accurate, it explains why Apple was willing to spend $3billion (£1.9billion) to acquire Beats Music, which you may know better as the maker of those white headphones with red cables that are so popular with young 'uns these days.

The reported decrease in iTunes music download sales is understandable, due to the rise of music streaming services such as Spotify, which allows users to listen to music completely free of charge if they don't mind the intrusion of advertisements.

Music streaming is on the up while the downloading of music is falling in popularity. This is a similar situation to that faced by the CD sales, which suffered badly when downloading music became popular.

Beats Music is seen as something of a rising star when it comes to music streaming, so could be a useful addition to iTunes, but it's something of a niche service in comparison - iTunes has 800 million users and 400 million credit cards registered, while Beats Music has only 250,000 paying users.

Combining the two would mean you'll be able to access to a huge music library for less than you'd pay on iTunes at present. While downloading tracks from iTunes for under once seemed like a bargain, it ain't got nothing on having access loads of music for around £6-7 a month.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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