Apple To Breathe Life Into Drying Music Downloads With iTunes Store Redesign

iTunes Store on iPhone

photo: Jim Merithew, Cult of Mac

When iTunes Radio was introduced, it was clear that Apple hadn’t made the true Spotify competitor everyone had hoped for. Instead, it was designed to get people to buy more music from the iTunes Store—hence the buy button at the top right of every song.

Sadly, iTunes Radio hasn’t helped drive music downloads for Apple, so the company is considering a “dramatic overhaul” of the iTunes Store.

The report comes from Billboard, which recently said that Apple is considering iTunes for Android and an on-demand streaming service more akin to Spotify and Rdio.

In a poll of Cult of Mac readers, the majority wanted Apple to make an iTunes app for Android devices. Billboard notes that “Apple is being forced to consider options that would have been out of the question a few years earlier.”

The iTunes Store still accounts for 90% of the music retail business, but downloads have been on the decline lately. Only around 1%-2% of iTunes Radio listeners buy music, according to the report. That’s pretty damning.

Apple has tried streaming music before, ala iTunes Match. Hasn’t worked. If it can’t make something that is more appealing than Spotify or Rdio, then maybe paying more attention to the existing iTunes Store will work?

While plenty of cosmetic changes and additions have been made, the iTunes Store has not undergone a significant redesign since it was introduced more than a decade ago. Whether it’s a streaming service, iTunes for Android, or a new iTunes Store, something clearly needs to be done.


About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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