SAN JOSE, Calif. – During its Worldwide Developers Conference Monday, Apple confirmed the death of iTunes – the iconic app will be broken up into Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV.
Last week, Bloomberg reported the company is phasing out iTunes in favor of the three new desktop apps, similar to how these services are already divided on iPhones and iPads.
Apple also showed off its next-generation mobile software iOS 13, which includes a dark mode, an updated Maps app, new portrait lighting abilities and an expanded Apple Watch health app, according to the Associated Press.
The move to phase out iTunes doesn’t come as a total surprise as the company has been pushing users toward its Apple Music subscription service. After all, Apple can charge a monthly fee to boost revenue rather than wait for a customer to buy a few songs.
ITunes formally launched in 2001, but its music store, launched two years later, changed the way we buy songs and albums. The format came at a time the music business struggled with online piracy and file-sharing sites. With a relatively intuitive user interface, a simple billing tool and an on-demand catalogue, iTunes was a far better experience than any other platform at the time.
ITunes’ strategy has been closely aligned with Apple’s devices business, but the rise of subscription content and services is a clear shift away from the iTunes model, said Jack Kent, analyst of IHS Markit.
“For Apple’s own business, it marks the strategic shift away from a central hardware focus to a business in which subscription content and services are increasingly important for margin and revenues,” said Kent, referencing the iPhone’s sluggish sales.
IHS Markit’s research found subscription services accounted for more than 80% of online music and video revenues in 2018, compared with less than 10% in 2008, in North America and Western Europe.
CNN Wire contributed to this report.