Merchant Innovation

Is Apple Adding An iTunes Subscription Service?

A little birdie told Apple Insider that iTunes might be adding a subscription service, which in turn might give weight to rumors that Apple streaming music is on the horizon.

Late last week, Apple Insider reported that a reader had shared with it a screenshot of the Account Information page — which Apple Insider notes dynamically pulls in data from Apple’s servers — on iTunes version 12.1.2.27 (released on April 9). Shown in the image, among the management options for iTunes in the Cloud, is a subsection titled “iTunes Subscription.”

AI speculates that the very appearance of iTunes Subscription within the tipster’s account management options could be an unintentional indicator that iTunes streaming music, albeit to date unannounced by Apple, is soon to be a reality. The outlet posits that iTunes streaming would allow users to download songs on up to five devices that could be played offline (and five devices would be two more than currently allowed by Apple-owned Beats Music).

All that being said, Apple Insider is quick to put forth a contrary likelihood that the sight of an iTunes subscription option, as its reader shared, might not be an indication of anything more than a system bug, manifesting in the form of misplaced or residual files showing up on active account servers.

Between the two possibilities, however, Apple Insider seems to lean toward the former — that iTunes Subscription, and therefore iTunes streaming, are coming down the pike — because certain technical details (such as allowable downloads) that appeared in other screenshot-captured text it shared do not support the case of a simple error message.

As AI notes, those in the know have been on the lookout for developments related to an Apple-branded music subscription service since rumors of one first began in September. If there is validity to this latest tip shared with the outlet, it would indicate that an Apple streaming service is ever closer to taking shape.

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