Leaked Apple email hints at the possible end of iTunes

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iTunespic
iTunes LPs won't make it out of 2018. Is the rest of iTunes next?
Photo: Apple

Apple could kill off iTunes in the near future, a new report suggests.

It cites an email that Apple reportedly wrote to people in the music industry recently, announcing the “end of iTunes LPs.” The iTunes LP format was first introduced in 2009 and let publishers add interactive artwork, along with assorted iTunes Extras, with their content.

The LP format never achieved great popularity. However, the fact that Apple plans to ditch iTunes LPs in 2018 potentially hints at the possibility that Apple may stop selling iTunes music downloads in the near future.

The Apple email announcing the change was reportedly sent two weeks ago from an address at “The iTunes Store” and signed by “The Apple Music Team.” But its existence has only been highlighted now through a report by the U.K. newspaper The Metro.

“Apple will no longer accept new submissions of iTunes LPs after March 2018,” the letter notes. “Existing LPs will be deprecated from the store during the remainder of 2018. Customers who have previously purchased an album containing an iTunes LP will still be able to download the additional content using iTunes Match.”

The right time to end iTunes?

The news about the possible winding down of iTunes would come as no surprise to many users. Not only has iTunes been outdated for years in terms of its interface and functionality, but Apple clearly aims to move to a streaming model of music selling.

More than 221 million people will have a music streaming subscription by 2020, according to Statista. That’s more than double the 106.3 million subscriptions just two years ago. Apple’s own Apple Music service is also on track to overtake Spotify as the biggest music streaming service in the United States this summer.

According to a previous report by The Wall Street Journal, Apple Music is currently growing at a rate of around 5 percent each month. While there are definitely folks out there who still use iTunes, Apple’s willingness to abandon technologies before they have completely run their course (see: the headphone jack) means that throwing in the towel on iTunes wouldn’t be totally out of character.

What would you think about Apple packing in iTunes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.