“Apple is late to the music streaming game,” Neil Cybart writes for Above Avalon. “In what could be seen as a rare sign of Apple ignoring a product for too long, Jimmy Iovine and company are still putting the finishing touches on their shift from paid downloads to paid music streaming. While Apple will most likely have a specific marketing plan in place to become the biggest paid music streaming service in the world, the overall risk to the strategy remains elevated. Being forced into something is a new experience for Apple and one has to wonder if becoming the most popular paid music streaming service is just a near-term prerequisite for a company with much bigger music initiatives.”

“The sea change in music continues unabated. Paid music sales are declining as music streaming is growing in popularity, built primarily on a freemium model where advertisements are used to annoy listeners to the point of driving paid upgrades,” Cybart writes. “Spotify has 15 million paid members, equivalent to less than 5% of the overall iPhone user base, while YouTube serves billions of songs, masked as videos, for free. In such a volatile landscape, Apple’s rumored plans for music streaming seems rather simple and, to a certain degree, refreshing. One tier, charged at a monthly rate, with users able to listen to music across a range of products and even operating systems.”

Cybart writes, “Apple is being forced into music streaming and the question remains if Apple can once again harness the music industry in a such way as to form a strong enough stepping stone to begin mapping where the music puck is headed.”

Read more in the full article – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: This is taking Apple quite awhile, certainly longer than they like, but Iovine is a force to be reckoned with in the music industry. If they want to dominate in music (and they may not fell it’s a necessity at this point) Apple would do well to utilize a tiny portion of their mountain of cash to provide clear and compelling reasons (exclusives, promos, contests, prizes, concert tickets, etc.) for customers to sign up for a monthly iTunes Music subscription music service.