Apple has been talking to record label executives about launching its own on-demand streaming service, according to a new report from Billboard. In what would certainly be a shocking turn of events, Apple is allegedly considering an iTunes app for Android as well.
“The surprising discussions are part of a multi-pronged strategy to deal with the double-digit decline in U.S. download sales at Apple’s iTunes Music Store,” according to the report.
Although the iTunes Store generates enough revenue to make it a high-ranking Fortune 500 company, the rise of streaming services like Spotify and Rdio is steering customers away from the download model that was popularized by iTunes. A recent survey showed that iTunes Radio is already the third most popular streaming service in America, but it’s more limited than competitors.
Rumors have said that Apple is toying with a full-blown streaming service for awhile, so there’s no telling when (or if) the product will come to fruition.
Billboard’s mention is the first time it has been reported that Apple is considering making an iTunes app for Android. Details are scarce, and the move would signal a significant shift in thinking for Apple, a company that designs its software almost exclusively for its own hardware.
Steve Jobs once compared iTunes for Windows to giving ice water to someone in hell. He also said multiple times that people want to own their music, not rent it. Jobs was known to change his mind, and maybe Apple is doing just that.