A new report from Billboard claims Apple may launch an iTunes app for Android devices as well as a Spotify-style on-demand music streaming service in an attempt to make up for plummeting music downloads. The company has apparently begun discussing the idea with several music label executives, inside sources reveal, adding that Cupertino is considering a number of ideas at the same time.
Launching an on-demand streaming service alongside iTunes Radio makes sense as potential source of revenue, though a recent survey revealed that, even without an on-demand option, iTunes Radio is still among the top three music streaming services in the U.S. The news follows an earlier report that Apple might offer iTunes Radio as a stand-alone app when iOS 8 is released.
The idea that Apple might offer Android users access to the iTunes app seems pretty shocking. Apple doesn’t offer any of its major mobile apps for Android, so there’s no set precedent to follow. The decision would also mean opening up parts of the iOS ecosystem to Android, and might encourage more iPhone users to switch over to the rival platform.
Another strategy, which the company has already started implementing, revolves around securing exclusive contracts on major album releases. When Beyonce’s new album was released late last year it initially only available on iTunes before hitting the rest of the market. Cupertino is reportedly already seeking out similar deals, though there’s no guarantee the same strategy will work more than once.
It’s unclear whether we’ll see any of these changes implemented in the near future or ever for that matter. Billboard previously predicted that YouTube was gearing up to launch its own music subscription service, which has yet to materialize almost six months later. It’s possible Apple could announce some major changes to its music strategy later this year, but there’s nothing official on the books just yet.