Inside sources say Apple is shutting down the Beats Music streaming service, but an Apple spokesman says that Beats Music isn’t going anywhere. The rumor of the Beats Music shut down comes mere months after Apple’s plans to buy Beats were first revealed. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Multiple Sources Confirm the End of Beats, but Apple Says It’s Not True
TechCrunch reports that multiple sources have confirmed Apple’s plans to shut down Beats Music, including “several prominent employees at Apple and Beats.” As many as five people close to the deal have confirmed the rumor about the end of Beats Music. However, Apple told Re/code that this rumor wasn’t true, though they didn’t rule out the possibility of a Beats Music rebrand at some point in the future.
2. Beats Music Might End, But Beats Headphones Will Continue
Apple Insider writes “The rumor [about Beats Music shutting down] would suggest that Apple’s $3 billion buyout of Beats was really about the headphones side of the business, as well as the talent and credibility brought on by the ‘acqui-hires’ of Beats’s Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre.”
Entrepreneur magazine notes that Apple paid $3.2 billion to acquire Beats earlier this year. The same article notes that Beats has had a rapid rise to the top: In 2012, just four years after Beats began selling headphones, the company had 40 percent market share. The headphone part of the Beats brand is still very much alive and kicking.
3. Beats Music May Get Rolled Into iTunes
Business Insider predicts that the Beats Music streaming service will be absorbed into the larger iTunes ecosystem:
“It’s more likely that Apple will take the Beats Music technology and incorporate it into iTunes and/or iTunes Radio. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently told Charlie Rose that he was so impressed with Beats Music that he “couldn’t sleep” after listening to it for the first time. That doesn’t sound like a product Cook would want to completely kill off.
Beats Music also has a neat feature that Apple might want to incorporate into future products. “The sentence” gives users the opportunity to select music based on their activity or location (think “I’m on a boat” or “I’m on a rooftop and feel like going back in time”).”
4. Apple Is Planning A Mysterious New Music Project
The Verge notes that there are rumors that Apple is planning a “significant music announcement” for next year. The shutdown of Beats Music may be the first step towards making that big announcement, whatever it may be.
Apple’s other big announcement in the first half of 2015 will be the official release date of the Apple Watch. Perhaps the Apple Watch will be involved in Apple’s next music project in some way, though it is too early to say so with any degree of certainty.
5. The Beats Music App Was Only Added to Apple TV a Few Days Ago
Apple Insider notes that a Beats Music app was just added to the Apple TV interface on September 17, making the plans for a Beats Music shutdown seem even more surprising. It does seem odd that Apple would add Beats to the Apple TV one week, and then start shutting down the service a week later. It’s fair to assume that if the rumors are true, and Apple is killing Beats Music, it won’t shut down the service overnight.