No, Apple isn’t killing iTunes music sales

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iTunes music sales still around
No matter what the rumors say, iTunes music sales aren't ending in slightly less than a year.
Photo: Apple

Apple flatly denies a persistent rumor that it’s going to end iTunes music sales on March 31, 2019. The basis for the rumor is vague statement from an Apple Music executive and a change in way most people listen to songs.

In the glory days of the iPod, Apple raked in millions selling individual tracks for 99 cents. Fast forward a decade to so, and streaming services are all the rage. This leaves people wondering how long Apple will keep selling music tracks.

Especially as the company has its own streaming service. Apple Music has 40 million subscribers, and may replace Spotify as the most popular paid option in the U.S. this year.

Apple Music executive Jimmy Iovine muddied the water even more by implying that iTunes sales can’t last forever.  In a recent interview, he was asked when Apple would stop offering music this way: “If I’m honest, it’s when people stop buying. It’s very simple.”

iTunes Music Sales Still Alive

Apparently, all this was enough for some people to believe an unconfirmed report that Apple plans to stop iTunes music sales at the end of the first quarter 2019. Supposedly, people would still be able to download already purchased songs.

But the British tabloid The Sun was able to get an Apple spokesperson to go on the record with a categorical denial: “It’s not true.”

That doesn’t mean it’s the end of rumors on this topic, though. Apple makes a habit of denying things right up until it announces them. Steve Jobs went on the record several times saying his company wasn’t working on a phone, for example. More recently, Iovine said in January that he’s not leaving Apple, and yesterday he stepped down as the head of Apple Music.