Oct 7, 2019

Farewell, iTunes

Photo: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images

iTunes is off to the big app farm in the sky, with the latest Mac update officially shuttering the program, AP reports.

The big picture: iTunes revolutionized the way users consume music, promoting the sales of songs at often 99¢ a piece and allowing individuals to easily organize playlists on their media devices. But as music subscription services like Spotify and Apple Music crept in, iTunes began to lose its following.

  • RIAA's music revenues report notes that 80% of music revenue is now coming from paid subscribers and streaming.
  • By closing out iTunes, which hosted various types of media, in favor of separate apps for music, videos, books and other services, Apple will be better able to cater to specific media interests and highlight individual programming.

What's next: iTunes will be replaced by a new music app that will feature the platform's subscription service and Apple's free online radio. The app will house songs previously shelved on users' iTunes accounts.

Go deeper: The music business moves into the streaming era

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Streaming services have made music mutable

Kanye West performs during his "Jesus Is King" album and film experience in Los Angeles. Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for ABA

We tend to think of our favorite music as unchanging, but streaming's rise to become our dominant form of consumption could begin to erode that norm.

Why it matters: Music's move to the cloud means that changes — sparked by creative, legal or other issues — can now easily be pushed out around the globe in a matter of seconds in a way that was impossible when the industry relied on CDs and vinyl records.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Oct 26, 2019

Prince's estate says Trump campaign used "Purple Rain" at rally despite agreement

Photo: Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post/Getty Images

The late musician Prince's estate tweeted that President Trump's campaign used the song "Purple Rain" at its Minneapolis rally on Thursday despite a 2018 letter from the campaign's lawyers confirming that it would no longer use the artist's music.

The big picture: Musicians have spoken out against Trump using their music at campaign rallies for years, but this is an interesting case where the artist in question has actually produced a legal agreement on the matter.

Go deeperArrowOct 11, 2019

Apple takes down app used to track Hong Kong police

A protester throws a tear gas canister fired by Hong Kong police, Oct. 1. Photo: Isaac Lawrence/AFP/Getty Images

Confronted with evidence of danger to police and citizens, Apple removed an app Wednesday night that "has been used in ways that endanger law enforcement and residents in Hong Kong," an Apple statement said.

  • Why it matters: With pro-democracy riots in their 18th week, the app — HKmap.live — has allowed users to track police movements, then target and ambush officers. Apple determined that those uses violate both App Store policy and Hong Kong law.
  • Hong Kong authorities, who had complained about the app, said it also was being used to victimize residents in areas where police weren’t present.
Go deeperArrowOct 10, 2019