Apple is looking for ways to increase sales of music in iTunes in an effort to reverse a trend of decreasing downloads. A shift in strategy could including bringing the iTunes Store to mobile phones other than the iPhone. According to Billboard, Apple is considering an iTunes Music Store app for Android phones that would be available for download in the Google Play Store. Other efforts to boost lagging sales of music downloads includes expanding their streaming music efforts to become a direct competitor with Beats, Spotify and Rdio.
Last year, Apple introduced iTunes Radio, which lets users create ad-supported stations that will stream music based on tracks in their library, by genre or by adding songs. iTunes Radio competes directly with Pandora and also offers an easy way to purchase music. In its current form, it offers users random access to music. Today’s report is regarding a move to offer ‘on demand’ streaming, putting Apple in direct competition with Spotify and Beats. These services offer an all-you-can-eat buffet of music, all of which is available on demand. Steve Jobs had always said, “people want to own their music.” This move to offer customers unbridaled access to any tracks in the iTunes Store would be a shift in philosphy for Apple. Customers would be able to pay a monthly fee for access. Apple currently offers iTunes Match. It allows iOS owners access to stream music which already exists in their library, but is not physically stored on their device.
Android phones make up a major cross-section of the mobile market, one where Apple cannot capitalize on music sales. To date, the number of Apple produced apps for Android – zero. Google on the other hand, has a ton of apps developed for iOS, including access to their stores. Offering a storefront is hardly bringing their best and brightest software to Android. It does however make for an easy way to get in front of people who purchase music from their phones.
Earlier this month, there were reports that Apple was going to make iTunes Radio a standalone app. Yet another way to boost interest in the service and ultimately downloads.
Would you pay a monthly fee for unlimited access to iTunes music?