After turning the market for recorded music upside down nearly 20 years ago, Apple will finally shutter iTunes. In its place, the tech giant will roll out a string of replacement apps for music, TV, and podcasts.
Apple Inc. is beginning an initiative that will aim to move the company away from the iPhone as its central cog for its various other products and services. Apple’s new approach to its apps and updated operating systems will be discussed at length at next week’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, CA.
Among the big changes which Apple is set to preview is the phasing out of one of its staple programs, iTunes. As Bloomberg notes,
iTunes has been the way Apple users listen to music, watch movies and TV shows, hear podcasts, and manage their devices for almost two decades. This year, Apple is finally ready to move into a new era. The company is launching a trio of new apps for the Mac – Music, TV, and Podcasts – to replace iTunes. That matches Apple’s media app strategy on iPhones and iPads. Without iTunes, customers can manage their Apple gadgets through the Music app.
This news follows Apple’s announcement last week of their first new iPod model in five years.
The shuttering of iTunes makes sense in today’s media climate in which the majority of listening has shifted toward various streaming services. iTunes has fallen by the wayside in recent years even for Apple, as the company has been promoting its own streaming service, Apple Music. The new plan for Apple’s streaming software aims to create a more seamless cross-platform streaming experience for users.
While it has decreased in popularity in recent years, iTunes was the service that helped spark a sea change in the physical record industry model and shift the zeitgeist toward digital music consumption when it was launched in 2001.
More details about the planned shift to new streaming-based apps will be revealed at the WWDC next week.