Citing declining music sales, Billboard is reporting:
Apple has opened exploratory talks with senior label executives about the possibility of launching an on-demand streaming service that would rival Spotify and Beats Music, according to three people familiar with the talks. Apple is also thinking about adding an iTunes App for Android phones, the Google rival that has been growing faster than the iPhone, these sources said. The surprising discussions are part of a multi-pronged strategy to deal with the double-digit decline in U.S. download sales at Apple’s iTunes Music Store, the largest music retailer.
The idea of an iTunes app for Android has been floating around for a few years now, but I don’t think this has a very good chance of happening. Sure, it’s entirely plausible that Apple is toying with the idea, but I don’t think they are really that interested in selling more content. (And the same goes for the Spotify service.)
For one thing, they’ve been ignoring Android and other platforms for years now, while they could have been profiting from it. And as I have pointed out in the past, Apple makes most of their revenue from hardware sales, not content. The apps, music, and other content in iTunes is there to support the hardware sales.
Furthermore, Steve Jobs has gone on the record expressing doubt as to the value:
“We thought about whether we should do a music client for Android. We put iTunes on Windows in order to sell more iPods. But I don’t see an advantage of putting our own music app on Android, except to make Android users happy. And I don’t want to make Android users happy.”
That is a 3 year old old quote from the late founder of Apple, so it might no longer reflect Apple’s priorities.
On the other hand, do you have any evidence that their priorities have changed?