Apple plans to relaunch Beats Music as part of iTunes next year, integrating the recently purchased streaming service into its hugely popular music store. Apple bringing Beats Music into iTunes has always seemed like a fairly obvious route for this acquisition to go, it seemed more like a question of when it will happen than if it will happen. It’s not known what the integration will look like, but Apple CEO Tim Cook has frequently espoused the benefits of Beats’ hand-curated playlists, so it’s likely that the service’s general format won’t be going away.
Apple’s worldwide digital music sales through iTunes have dropped up as much as 14% in 2014, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal citing sources close to the situation. That’s a big decrease, as the report points out, when compared to data available for digital sales last year: “The dive in download sales is stark compared with a much shallower dip last year. Global revenue from downloads fell 2.1% in 2013, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, but that decline was offset by increases in revenue from ad-supported and subscription streaming services, resulting in overall digital revenue growth in most markets last year… Factoring in CD sales, which have been plunging for well over a decade, overall music sales in most of the world held steady last year. Japan was an exception, with steep drops in physical and digital sales alike.”
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