New report sheds light on Apple’s ambitious music plans

When iOS 8.4 launches later this year, it’s rumored that the new software will herald the release of Apple’s brand new music streaming service, which is said to be heavily Beats-infused.

The future of Apple and the music industry has been a major talking point as of late, as many people go back-and-forth trying to figure out what, exactly, is going to happen to Beats Music and how Apple plans on making waves within the industry again. So, when Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, Jimmy Iovine, Eddy Cue and other Apple executives make an appearance at a pre-Grammy party, it’s to be expected that some kind of talk regarding that specific future will come up.

According to a new report from Billboard. Citing sources with knowledge of the matter, the outlet has shed some light on the company’s ambitious plans for the record industry. Beats co-founder and Apple executive Jimmy Iovine has apparently been holding secret meetings with senior executives from many record labels in recent weeks.

 The discussions are of course protected by non-disclosure agreements, but details are beginning to trickle out.

Some of it we’ve heard before, such as Apple is looking to launch a revamped streaming service within the next few months, with a monthly price point lower than its competitors. But it’s also apparently looking to do some significant housecleaning within its digital iTunes Store.

“Other clues suggest a major scrub to the iTunes store, which will rid itself of thousands of titles including soundalikes and certain covers, all at Apple’s discretion,” Billboard reports. There is also talk that the ‘Featured’ music section could move from editorial-based to sales-based.

According to the insider speaking to the publication, Apple is not merely content in simply being part of the music industry, or even competing with Spotify. Apple wants to “own the record business.” As has already been rumored for quite some time, while Apple works on launching its new music streaming service it has also been working fervently behind the scenes making sure that it lands the necessary deals to make the service worth using.
“The proof is in the 800 million credit cards it already has on file — comparably, Spotify has 15 million subscriptions and 60 million monthly users, although the service is growing, headed to an initial public offering.

In fact, integration has begun. Apple TV features a Beats logo, an update to Apple’s iOS will include streaming and creative is in the works for new ads starring artists recruited by Iovine. But that may be the extent of Beats’ involvement as Kondrk takes the lead on music. Like the Apple-centric design of its offices, the look and feel of Beats is likely to mirror Apple’s aesthetic, not the other way around.“
Some changes are coming to iTunes, too, apparently, with the company focused on cleaning the experience up for both users and artists. Specifically, the report indicates that the “Featured” section in iTunes could get a big transition from an editorial-chosen content hopper, to something that’s based more on sales within iTunes. On top of that, Apple will be working to clean up re-recordings, duplicates, and any other content within iTunes that could muddy up the experience.
    “Additionally, featured-artist sliders, previously chosen editorially, may now be determined by sales velocity, leaving some to wonder if iTunes is becoming less like a Tower Records and more of a Target — limited selection and a focus on hit titles. “Until now, iTunes has been good to the indies,” contends one vet. Conversely, an Apple source says such case-by-case house-cleaning to eliminate duplicative and deceptive versions is routine.“
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