Billboard sources claim Apple is in talks to introduce a Spotify competitor, though it's unclear if the service will replace iTunes Radio or simply be in addition to. The Cupertino company is reportedly in talks with label executives about the on-demand service as it looks for ways to increase download sales in its iTunes store, which have been on the decline. Previous reports suggested Apple was in talks to offer exclusive releases through iTunes like it did with Beyonce's most recent surprise album.
In addition, and less believable than the first option, is that Apple is even considering releasing an iTunes app for Android to help boost sales. If true, one would expect the company's so-called Spotify competitor to also be available on the world's largest mobile platform, giving Apple access to an incredibly large and untapped userbase. It's unclear how far along either of these initiatives are, though sources claim label executives are intrigued by the possibilities.
Apple's iTunes Radio is successful in its own right, though on-demand services is where biggest streaming revenue lies, according to recent data. Apple's iTunes ecosystem is one of the biggest out there, and giving users unlimited access for a monthly fee could prove to be a bonafide competitor to Spotify and Google's more recent All Access. Granted, the price would need to be right, but considering other services hover around $9.99 per month, Apple will likely price it competitively.
Apple's iTunes apparently accounts for more than 40-percent of U.S. recorded music revenue, and Apple wants to continue that into the coming years as trends evolve. A transition over to an on-demand service would likely be pretty seamless for current customers, so the move definitely seems like a natural step for Apple. Billboard sources say the on-demand service could act as a standalone app, however, it's still unclear if iTunes Radio will continue to offer Pandora-like functionality, or if it'll simply morph into an on-demand service.
There are plenty of logistics to iron out, as Billboard highlights. Little information is mentioned about a possible iTunes Android app other than to say one is being considered. If that's the case, this would be the first time Apple has ever released a mobile application on a competing mobile platform. The company's iTunes desktop application is, however, available outside of OS X, so it wouldn't be completely unprecedented.