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Rumor Fact(ory): Apple pondering a joint digital subscription for music, video, and news

Apple may be planning a new type of multimedia content subscription. The Information (paywall) reports that Apple is considering a single package that would combine Apple Music with the company’s original TV and video projects and its overhauled news app. Each of the services would still be available individually, but a single access point would position Apple as a single-stop purveyor of entertainment.

Several of the other leading tech companies have pursued similar paths. Amazon Prime combines several perks for repeat customers of the ecommerce giant and Google’s YouTube Premium is making another effort to blend subscription music and video on the platform. The potential for Apple to incorporate its recent acquisition of Texture, frequently billed as “the Netflix of magazines,” is a new wrinkle for this type of joint package.

Apple has a few other positives in its corner if it does decide to follow this avenue. First, it has a long-standing reputation for not just offering exclusive content, but for maintaining good working relationships with creative professionals. That would mean its subscription could have the benefit of offering something unique to potential customers. Second, its success with hardware means a solid base of a potential audience that might make for easy conversion to paying subscribers. Third, Apple’s hardware business means that it isn’t dependent on content subscriptions for revenue. In fact, its services division, which includes Apple Music, supplied just $9.19 billion of the company’s nearly $61.14 billion in revenue for the second quarter of 2018.

Assuming the execution of a joint subscription is successful, Apple’s biggest hurdle will simply be that it’s joining the game after its top competitors. But that certainly hasn’t slowed it down in music subscription streaming.

Anna Washenko

8 Comments

  1. I think that Apple is sneakily trying to push their iTunes customers to streaming.

    First piece of evidence for this is that I’ve noticed some disappearing albums. Two albums I was planning to purchase have suddenly been removed from the store.

    Second piece of evidence for this is that the latest version of iTunes is heavily advertising Apple Music.

    • Luckily, Amazon still has those albums for download, so I bought them there.

    • Maybe Apple removed those albums because they didn’t sell well.

      • It happened again! Another artist I like has had some albums to disappear.

          • Albums categorized as the LP format had special features. These particular albums did not have any special features.

            The reason it concerns me is that there are multiple sites reporting that according Apple industry insiders, iTunes will shut down in March 2019.

            The thing is, I don’t want to be forced to sign up for streaming. If I want to do streaming, I want to make that choice for myself.

          • If you have to start purchasing anywhere else, I recommend Amazon. Prices can be a few dollars cheaper. It’s also web-based. And if you buy a physical CD, you get a free MP3 rip as a bonus.

          • I looked through the discussion forums on Apple’s website. Some other customers have noticed it too. It’s happening on the streaming end as well as in the store. Seems to be music from the 80s, 90s, and older. The guess on the forums is that Apple is getting rid of old music to make way for horrible new music.

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