Apple has a new plan in mind for Beats Music, which they recently acquired for $3 million dollars this August. The company reportedly plans to relaunch Beats as a component of the iTunes music store in 2015. Apple’s decision to revamp their Beats acquisition has been largely influenced by their financial shortcomings over the course of the year, with music sales dropping somewhere between 13 and 14 percent.
This is after having just recovered from experiencing their first-ever drop in sales in 2013 since the iTunes music store opened. That decline was attributed to apparently faulty subscription services. This trend, however, is not exclusive to Apple, but rather, reflects a pattern in digital sales throughout the music industry. As people move more and more toward music streaming and piracy to avoid the $1.29-a-song alternative they face when buying music from the widely popular music store, iTunes is being forced between a rock and a hard place. Overall, U.S. digital music downloads have dropped 12% over the last year, while, surprisingly, album sales remain pretty steady, and vinyl sales have actually increased.
The doesn’t come as a surprise to many, as just a month ago, Apple openly denied a published report that claimed they’d be shutting down Beats Music before the service could make it to a year old. According to the report, several employees from both Beats and Apple claimed that the service would be discontinued. Others alluded to this, now confirmed, news that the company would instead only be making changes to their Beats service.
Apple’s current Beats Music service works to create a highly customizable and personal, hand-curated music streaming experience. For $9.99 a month, customers can listen to playlists chosen by the likes of Pitchfork Media editor Scott Plagenhoef and Los Angeles hip-hop radio personality Fuzzy Fantabulous. Apple is reportedly attempting to negotiate with collaborating music labels on a price cut for the current Beats service, which would bring it down to just $5 a month. But it’s far too early to know any real details of how next year’s new integration will look or work.