Apple wants labels to cut streaming music prices

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Apple is reportedly in early talks with music labels about “a new set of rights and features,” prior to the company’s Beats Music refresh next year.

No concrete details were provided about what these rights and features might involve, but Re/code claims Apple is gunning for lower content licensing fees, that would enable the company to charge under its current $10 price point.

A recent survey suggested that just 25% of music streamers spent more than $10 on music every three months.

The music industry hasn’t exactly been enamoured with streaming music since it lowers potential earnings for both artists and labels. However, with sales from digital downloads faltering in comparison to streaming music, that seems to be the direction the business is going in.

While it certainly makes sense that Apple would want to push for the best possible deal with record labels (something it has historically managed to do), it’s also questionable how this move fits into the company’s reported plan to embrace new music formats that will help up-and-coming artists to make money.

Either way, this current report suggests that previous rumors of Beats Music’s death were greatly exaggerated. Initial rumors were quickly refuted by an Apple spokesman. Later reports suggested that Apple may be looking to integrate Beats Music into a service of Apple’s own making — leaving Beats a hardware-only brand.

This new subscription music service will supposedly be timed to debut with the Grammy Awards, to be held on February 8th 2015.