The ‘iTunes’ Brand Is Probably Going Away

Mark Gurman, Bloomberg:

The company is preparing a new version of the [Apple TV] app for release around December as part of an upcoming tvOS software update, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plan is private. The app, which first launched in 2016, aggregates content from iTunes, the Apple TV+ subscription service, live sports networks and third-party offerings like Amazon Prime.

As part of the overhaul, the company will discontinue its dedicated apps on the Apple TV set-top box that let users rent and buy movies and shows. It will also remove the movie and TV show sections from the iTunes Store app on iPhones and iPads. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on the move.

As Gurman writes, the TV app already has purchasing and rental options for movies and shows.

Kirk McElhearn:

Soon, all that will be left of the iTunes brand is the iTunes Store for music. And people buy much less music in the past, having mostly shifted to streaming. Will the iTunes name finally fade away as music sales dwindle? It’s hard to imagine Apple stopping digital music sales entirely; even if fewer people buy digital music, the market isn’t dead, not by a long shot. Global digital music sales peaked in 2012 at around $4.4 billion, and in 2021 they had dropped to $1.1 billion. That’s a decline of about 75%, but Apple still earns a hefty amount of money from selling digital music.

John Gruber:

I’ve been wondering about the same thing for a few years. I purchase/rent all my movies and TV shows on my Apple TV, where “iTunes” isn’t mentioned. (And in the age of streaming, I really only purchase/rent movies — the TV shows I watch are all streamed nowadays.) So why keep the iTunes Store app around on iOS — they could just add a Store tab to the Music app. Buy your music — if you buy music — in Music, and buy your movies in TV.

Adding a “Buy” button to every album in Music could add clutter, but it would make sense. In a bizarre twist, I can see how putting a purchasing option right there could entice people to buy more music, too, simply by being where they are, but I am fully aware most people do not buy much music any more. There remain good reasons for doing so, however.