Faced with falling sales of online music, Apple would bet everything on its streaming service. Users’ catalogs would then be transformed into an Apple Music account.

Will Apple stop selling music in its iTunes Store in 2019? The music download store could then be replaced by the only Apple Music streaming service. Evoked in 2016, the closing schedule has recently been accelerated, according to information from Digital Music News.

The closure of the online store would come just after Christmas 2018, from the very beginning of the year 2019. This would allow Apple to enjoy two more holiday periods to try to save what can still be. According to analyst firm Nielsen, the market for paid music downloads has collapsed in the first six months of 2017. In the United States, unit sales of songs fell by 24.1% and those of 19.9% albums.

His disco imported into Apple Music

In concrete terms, the accounts would be converted into Apple Music subscriptions. The collection of albums purchased would be entirely imported within the streaming service. The user would benefit from three months free trial to know if the solution suits him. All his playlists would also be imported.

However, since the exploitation rights of works are different between download and streaming, some albums may not be available on Apple Music. In this case, their pockets would be grayed out in the interface and inaccessible until an agreement on rights has been found. However, the user would always keep his music files that he already had in his possession for offline listening.

Towards a new lightening of iTunes?

In addition to anticipating the slow death of the paid download, this decision would allow Apple to simplify its iTunes software. Often considered a “bloatware”, it has been enriched with features over the last decade, to become indigestible for some users. Last September, the company had already removed access to its App Store.

The end of the sale of music would be in any case a very strong symbol for Apple. Opened in 2003 by Steve Jobs, the iTunes Music Store – as it was called at the time – was one of the bricks of Apple’s revival. As a companion to the iPod, it was one of the simplest legal offers of the moment to use. It has allowed Apple to become the largest music seller in the world, before streaming is massively adopted by users.