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Expand chart
Reproduced from IFPI Global Music Report; Chart: Axios Visuals

Apple is killing its famous iTunes app on the Mac in favor of three new apps this fall: one for music, podcasts and TV.

Why it matters: The move is a symbol of the way music consumption has changed, moving from digital downloads to on-demand streaming.

The big picture: Over the past year, Apple has aggressively pushed users away from iTunes in favor of Apple Music, which has grown to reportedly surpass Spotify in U.S. users.

  • Analysts don't expect Apple Music to make tons of money, as licensing and label and publisher payout fees are expensive.
  • The music streaming service will likely strengthen the value proposition for Apple's hardware relationships, just as Amazon's music service is meant to strengthen its retail business through stronger consumer relationships.

Between the lines: The industry has developed standards and benchmarks for popular music around album sales and downloads.

  • The New York Times reports artists like Taylor Swift and Travis Scott are trying to bundle free downloads with ticket or merchandising sales in order to game the Billboard 100 list.
  • Billboard changed its methodology last year to weigh streaming success more heavily in its calculations, but the now widespread practice of bundling free downloads with merchandise and ticket sales is putting pressure on the group to readjust its calculations.

What's next: The music business is still trying to figure out how artists will be compensated for streaming success.

  • Some artist advocates have urged Apple not to cut off downloads entirely, as they provide a way for artists to get paid.

Go deeper: What Apple knows about you

Go deeper

Senate confirms Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo as commerce secretary

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D). Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Senate voted 84-15 on Tuesday to confirm Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo to lead the Commerce Department.

Why it matters: The agency promotes U.S. industry, oversees the Census Bureau, plays a key role in the government's study of climate change through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and evaluates emerging technology through the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Updated 30 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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  2. Axios-Ipsos poll: Americans' hopes rise after a year of COVID
  3. Vaccine: J&J CEO "absolutely" confident in vaccine distribution goals — Vaccine hesitancy is shrinking.
  4. World: China and Russia vaccinate the world, for now.
  5. Energy: Global carbon emissions rebound to pre-COVID levels.
  6. Local: Florida gets more good vaccine newsMinnesota's hunger problem grows amid pandemic — Denver's fitness industry eyes a pandemic recovery.

Supreme Court likely to favor Republican-backed Arizona voting laws

A person walking outside of the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 22.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday appeared to favor Republican-backed voting restrictions in Arizona that Democrats argue violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The Justices' decision in the case could weaken Section 2 of the VRA, which prohibits voting practices or procedures that discriminate on the basis of race.

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