Apple’s $3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronic was supposedly anchored by the killer music service Tim Cook has touted in recent interviews, but according to a report from TechCrunch, Apple’s brand new music streaming service is already scheduled to be shutdown.
“Apple will discontinue the streaming music service Beats Music it acquired in May, according to five sources, including several prominent employees at Apple and Beats. Many engineers from Beats Music have already been moved off the product and onto other projects at Apple, including iTunes.”
Beats was acquired by Apple in May, giving Cupertino a new weapon to fight streaming services like Pandora and Spotify who have been eating some of iTunes’ digital music sales by offering all-you-can-stream music for a monthly fee. Beats Music offers users unlimited music and human curated playlists for $9.99 a month or $99 per year subscription fee.
It’s unclear what Apple would do with the music service birthed by Dr. Dre. The service will supposedly shut Beats Music down entirely, though the report doesn’t mention when, or what Apple plans to do with the streaming tech it just paid $3 billion for.
The report mentions new iPhones failing to come with Beats Music pre-installed as further evidence that Apple plans to sunset the Beats Music brand, as well as noting that the Apple Watch didn’t come with a Beats Music app either. Demos showed Apple Watch using a Remote app for Apple Watch with a blue play button to stream music.
Rolling the Beats Music brand and tech into iTunes or other services would make sense as it solidifies the Beats as hardware only. It could also come into play with the new album format the company is supposedly working on with Bono. We reached out to Apple for comment on the future of Beats Music, but haven’t received a comment yet.
Update: Recode has already shot down this rumor with official word from Apple’s Tom Neumayr who says the Techcrunch report is “not true.” Peter Kafka elaborates a bit more based on his sources, “Apple won’t shutter the streaming service. It may, however, modify it over time, and one of those changes could involved changing the Beats Music brand.”