Apple to pull the plug on iTunes

Almost two decades after revolutionizing the world of music and the way its business is conducted, Apple’s iTunes will no longer exist, according to a report by Bloomberg. Apple, the Silicon Valley based technological giant, is finally pulling the plug on the much loved, and at times hated, iTunes after years of speculation. The news comes in at a crucial time for Apple as it looks to brand itself as more than just a hardware and software company.

Apple will make an announcement during the software keynote at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California.

A brief history of iTunes

Apple’s iTunes, first launched back in 2001, came in at a time when the music industry was at its weakest. The biggest record labels in the world were struggling to combat illegal file-sharing on Napster and other websites. It was then that Steve Jobs presented the digital era’s first sustainable and user-friendly way to listen to music. Ever since then, iTunes has been the way for Apple users to purchase and listen to music and podcasts, plus watch TV shows, movies, and backup or manage their devices. iTunes was first available on personal computers running MacOS or Windows.

What’s next?

Apple is reportedly planning to launch three standalone apps for Mac users. These apps will be Music, TV, and Podcasts, and will each individually replace iTunes. If you have used Apple devices, then you know that the iPhone, iPad, and iPod already have those three separate apps. Now, according to a report by Engadget, Apple users will be able to use the new Music app which will offer the same functions that iTunes did, like syncing phones and buying songs.

The report also states that Apple is making this move in order to brand itself as more than just a hardware and software company. It wants to move in the direction of becoming a major entertainment services provider. Apple had recently announced that Oprah Winfrey was teaming up with Prince Harry to produce a documentary series about mental illness and wellness for the Apple TV+ streaming service. It was also revealed that Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon would be starring in an upcoming drama series, The Morning Show, which will be premiering on Apple TV+. These new projects do fuel the rumors that Apple is indeed rebranding.

Why Kill iTunes?

With the rise of new-age apps like Spotify and Netflix, it became essential for Apple to revamp its approach towards their entertainment distribution. With this move, Apple’s offerings will be streamlined into three separate platforms helping the company get traction as a multifaceted entertainment services provider. That’s important for the future of Apple as the company deals with slowed-down phone sales.

Another reason for its death is the heavy shift to streaming in music. Mac users, who subscribe to Apple Music, could access the service only through iTunes. With standalone apps, that would change and will help Apple compete with the likes of Spotify and Netflix.

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