Beats Music (teaser 003)

Apple is looking to shut down its Beats Music streaming service, according to a new report from TechCrunch. Citing “several prominent employees” at both companies, the outlet says that many Beats engineers have already been pulled off the product, and moved on to other projects.

If true, such a move would be interesting considering the public praise Apple and its execs—namely Tim Cook and Eddy Cue—have given the service. It also recently added Beats Music to the ‘Apps by Apple’ section in the App Store, and launched a new Beats Music channel on Apple TV.

This being said, there have been a few red flags that Apple has been looking to sunset the Beats Music brand. For instance, TechCrunch points out that the app does not come pre-installed on the new iPhones or iOS 8. And Apple Watch marketing materials don’t show a Beats Music icon.

Given Apple’s well-known disdain for fragmentation, it seems very possible that it’s shutting down Beats Music only to re-introduce the service under its iTunes umbrella. I suppose they could just scrub the product altogether, but the streaming music space is too big for Apple to ignore.

Apple announced in May that they would be buying Beats Electronics for $3 billion—a deal which officially closed in August. Several reasons have been given for the acquisition, which is the largest in company history, including talent, growing headphone business, and Beats Music.


Update: Recode’s Peter Kafka has more on the story:

So why would Apple plan to shut down Beats Music, as a TechCrunch headline reports? Answer: It’s not. Tom Neumayr, says the TechCrunch story is “not true”, but wouldn’t elaborate. I can elaborate a bit more, based on conversations with people familiar with Apple’s thinking: Apple won’t shutter the streaming service. It may, however, modify it over time, and one of those changes could involved changing the Beats Music brand.

Update 2: Recode has received word from Apple that the Beats Music brand may in fact be going away, but that it definitely wants to stay in streaming music.

  • Maxim∑

    Apple’s probably going to take down the whole beats brand eventually. Im sure we will see better sounding headphones that look like beats rebranded by 2016

    • Marcus

      Honestly, I’d probably buy them. I should’ve bought Beats years ago, but I never did because I just kept thinking that a new pair of headphones would be released and I’d be like wasting my money or something. Anyways, big mistake, I wish I would have bought a pair. Hopefully Apple doesn’t release a new line of headphones each year if they rebrand Beats.

  • Always seemed like an overhyped purchase of an overhyped product. Did not understand how/why Apple was doing this.

    • butterfield

      You buy out your potential competition….

      • David Villamizar

        I think is more an acquire than a buy out of potential competition, Beats Music was not real competition.

  • sosarozay300

    i hope they leave it and make it free, it played a lot of throwback songs i had forgotten about when i had the trial account

  • Fanboy 

    Why would Beats come installed with iOS 8 or even be on marketing material to begin with? It is not an application or service that Apple made, just because they bought it doesn’t mean it’s an Apple product.

    • Well if Apple bought it from the date they bought it, it is theirs. They probably have all sorts of plans for Beats Music we will just have to wait and see. My personal feeling is that it’s pointless having iTunes Radio and Beats Music. I think they either need to merge or just go away altogether. I’m more in favour of the “go away altogether” option since there’s no point a service existing on the Internet that is limited to residents of certain countries.

  • thomas

    smart move apple

  • jose carlos

    The beats app and anything that is BEATS is mainly known for revolving around HIP HOP and R&B.Apple will want to make it focused on all type’s music evenly.Changing name will HELP it DRAMATICALLY to accomplish that.

  • Telco Biru User

    If you can’t beat them, join them.If you can join them, beat them

  • I honestly couldn’t care if Beats Music did go away. They’ve built an amazing music streaming service but since it’s limited to the United States I have to jump through various hoops and loopholes in order to use the subscription service.

  • neez

    How about:
    iTunes Radio stays as a free streaming service.
    iTunes Beats become Apple’s premium streaming service.

    Did you see what I did there? You can hire me now Apple! You’re welcome! =P