Apple to shut down Beats Music, sources say

“Apple will discontinue the streaming music service Beats Music it acquired in May, according to five sources, including several prominent employees at Apple and Beats,” Josh Constine reports for TechCrunch.

“Many engineers from Beats Music have already been moved off the product and onto other projects at Apple, including iTunes,” Constine reports. “It’s not clear when exactly Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre’s music service will be shut down or what Apple will do with streaming, but every source with knowledge of the situation that we talked to agreed Apple plans to sunset the Beats Music brand.”

“Considering Apple’s penchant for simple, unified brands, and how it despises fragmentation, shutting down Beats Music makes a lot of sense. Running a second music service in parallel with iTunes that forces people to learn a whole new interface might have confused customers. Beats Music’s CEO Ian Rogers was also put in charge of iTunes Radio, meaning he’s already splitting his time rather than just focusing on Beats Music,” Constine reports. “The big question is what will Apple do with streaming music. Buying Beats Music may still assist Apple hear through talent, technology, and industry relationships even without the Beats Music brand. One source said Apple may roll streaming into iTunes.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Rolling music streaming subscriptions into iTunes makes much more sense than trying to keep the Beats Music brand.


  1. MDN’s take is correct but ONLY if Apple fixes iTunes, both on the iPhone/iPad and the computer- Mac and Windows, first. Right now it is a bloated mess. I dread connecting my iPhone/iPad to the Mac. Moving one album to or from the Mac to the iPhone takes a lot of doing. Clearing space on the iPhone is troublesome. And it takes a lot to find something on iTunes even when you know exactly what you are looking for. Discovering new stuff that you might like and are totally unfamiliar with? Nearly impossible.

    1. Why do you dread connecting your phone/pad to your computer?
      Why do you find it so difficult selecting an album and dragging it onto your phone?
      Clearing space on the phone is difficult?
      Finding stuff is difficult?
      And discovering new stuff nearly impossible?
      Are you telling me that you have no idea what music is actually in your iTunes library, that you have no idea how to scroll down an alphabetical list, or how to tap a couple of letters into search and hit go?
      That you can’t work out how to highlight and select stuff on your phone you no longer need and hit Return?
      How, exactly, can a mammal be so slow and still have respiratory functions?

      1. First of all I learned something today-on the iPhone you can go into the music-album mode and swipe left and delete that album. This solves a huge problem for me. Previously, I thought you could only do this artist by artist.

        Next, I don’t like playlists- I’m album orientated. Has to do with my age. 🙂

        I dread connecting it to my Mac because I’m never quite sure what it will do- backup the iPhone, download extras excetra… Yes, in the manual mode IF all the check boxes are checked like you want syncing/transferring what you want happens correctly and quickly but to get there you have to go through several screens and check.

        I wasn’t clear about searching iTunes- yes on the computer iTunes does a great job organizing your library of media. I was referring to the iTunes online store- trying to find new stuff is difficult.
        Both iTunes match and iTunes radio don’t do what I expect- they don’t match or stream songs that I would like. I welcome Beats approach of “human curated” music streams.

        I was too harsh above- iTunes does a better job them everyone else but I’m holding Apple to a higher standard.

        1. I am also album-oriented, and HATE that Apple now skips the album list after selecting the artist. Seriously, you want me to scroll through all 200 songs from the 15 of this artist’s albums and hope I spot the one I’m looking for?

          But by the way, you’ve been able to swipe to delete albums since like iOS 4 or 5. (Definitely could do it in 5, that much I know, just can’t remember if it was also possible in earlier versions.)

  2. actually the name “iTunes” is dated and they will using the beats name in part of a rebranding iTunes into a newly named app and service. The name iTunes will soon be put to rest

  3. Leave it to TechCrunch, the evil spawn of world-class asshat Michael Arrington, to get the story wrong. As usual, they did.

    Per MacRumors:
    “According to an Apple representative who spoke to Re/code, the company is not planning to shut down Beats Music.
    So why would Apple plan to shut down Beats Music, as a TechCrunch headline reports?

    “Answer: It’s not.

    “Tom Neumayr, says the TechCrunch story is “not true”, but wouldn’t elaborate.

    “While the spokesperson declined to elaborate, Re/code suggests that while Apple does not plan to shut down Beats Music, it may “modify it over time,” changing the brand name.”

    Nothing to see here folks. Move along, please.

  4. So they’re going to shut it down? What was the point of shelling out 3B for the company? Just to get Iovine? They could have got him at a better price than that and let the beats company go on it’s merry way.

    Who ever made that deal should be slapped

  5. When Apple wasted about $3 Billion buying Beaten by Dre, some of the pundits excused the shitty headphones by speculating that they were actually interested in the me too music service. What Beats offers is about as original as Real Networks and Microsoft offerings back when the iTunes store was still a new thing.

    It is not technology, it is not the me too subscription music. WTF is it then?

    It is a huge waste of money.

    1. Shutting down Beats Music doesn’t make the system, developers or technology disappear. Apple is undoubtably transplanting what was called Beats into an Apple branded product. Whether part of the Music App, iTunes, or something new I don’t know. But I DO hope that they have a method for transferring the subscribers from one service to the other.

  6. It’s been a year since iTunes Radio launched in the US. We still don’t have it in the UK where Apple usually launches stuff pretty quickly after a US rollout. That says to me that Apple isn’t happy with iTunes Radio and change is on the way soon.

  7. The rumors of a Beats Streaming shutdown, the release of iTunes Radio, and U2 talking about a new revolution in music industry all lead me to believe the three are completely related to a single new thing. I assumed from the beginning that the Beats thing would be merged into iTunes Radio, so a shut down is no surprise, but these being brought up again in rumors makes me feel what U2 is talking about has to do with it all piecing together like a puzzle.

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