Following reports last week that Apple is preparing “sweeping changes” to its Apple Music streaming service, further reports have emerged that allege of a huge push within the company to make streaming an even bigger priority, with an end to paid downloads being considered.

Digital Music News reports that discussions are underway to kill off iTunes downloads entirely, with an aggressive two-year timetable gaining traction within the company. Citing sources with “close and active business relationships with Apple,” the prospect of retiring music downloads for good comes down to “not on if, but when.”

“The sources indicated that a range of shutdown timetables are being considered by Apple, though one executive noted that ‘keeping [iTunes music downloads] running forever isn’t really on the table anymore.’ Also under discussion is a plan to ‘ride the [iTunes music download offering] out for the next 3–4 years, maybe longer,’ when paid music downloads are likely to be an afterthought in a streaming-dominated industry,” Digital Music News reports.

While paid iTunes downloads still account for hundreds of millions of dollars for the company, this revenue is estimated to fall to $600 million in 2019, a huge drop of $3.9 billion in 2012. Meanwhile, Apple Music subscribers are reportedly rushing toward 20 million this year.

Read the full report over at Digital Music News.



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