“Digital music sales at Apple Inc.’s iTunes store have fallen 13% to 14% worldwide since the start of the year, according to people familiar with the matter, underscoring the fragility of the music industry’s nascent recovery,” Hannah Karp reports for The Wall Street Journal. “The dive in download sales is stark compared with a much shallower dip last year. Global revenue from downloads fell 2.1% in 2013, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, but that decline was offset by increases in revenue from ad-supported and subscription streaming services, resulting in overall digital revenue growth in most markets last year.”

“The plummeting download numbers help illustrate why Apple bought the $10-a-month subscription streaming service Beats Music earlier this year, as part of its $3 billion acquisition that included headphone maker Beats Electronics,” Karp reports. “Apple is rebuilding Beats Music and plans to relaunch it next year as part of iTunes, according to a person familiar with the matter.”

“Apple is the biggest seller of music in the world, physical or digital. Its dominance over other download stores is especially pronounced, according to music executives,” Karp reports. “Despite the slowing U.S. music sales, Apple reported this week that global iTunes sales—including movies, apps and books—increased to $4.6 billion in the third quarter, up from $4.3 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Apple didn’t break out figures for music sales.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: US$4.99/month and millions will be there with bells on.

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