Even though Apple has lead the digital music business for years, we’ve seen one business model after another become obsolete in the last couple of years. With services like Spotify and Pandora, and with the added value of 4G LTE data speeds, a lot of people have began to prefer alternatives that don’t force you to buy a song in order to listen to it. Rumors have it that Apple has begun to feel the pressure of changing its business model one more time, and the changes are rumored to be significant.
An Apple executive who we find unnamed has declared that even though Apple launched iTunes Radio in order to stop the decline in music sales, it hasn’t reached its goal. iTunes Radio is currently ranking number three in popularity for music streaming services in the United States; its purpose was to get people to buy more music from the store, and at the moment Apple continues to experience a 15% decline in music sales during the last couple of quarters. According to the executive, Apple’s next step is to bring a dramatic overhaul to the iTunes Store, though specifics on how this business model will work are still not confirmed.
It could be that Apple will consider giving music out for free on iTunes Radio, providing a paid subscription service as a second option, and then music a-la-carte through downloads from the iTunes Store. Whatever the company decides, we should expect this to happen this year, even though Apple still owns 60% of the digital music business.