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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

Updated 2 mins ago - Economy & Business

Americans are super-sizing their holiday travel

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans are rushing back into holiday travel, and many are taking even longer trips now than they did before the pandemic began.

The big picture: After skipping Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings last year, many people are eager to maximize this year's celebrations with friends and family. And flexible remote working arrangements make that easier than ever.

Updated 2 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Pity the "green" car buyer

Expand chart
Data: IHS Markit Data; Note: Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

Americans are more open than ever to trading in their gas cars for electrified vehicles — but they're flummoxed by the confusing array of green options arriving in showrooms.

Why it matters: Getting up to speed on the differences among hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery-electric vehicles will be a challenge for car buyers — and salespeople, too — as we transition away from gas-powered vehicles over the next decade.

Updated 2 mins ago - Technology

America's attention recession

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

New data shows that there's been a pullback from the historically high levels of media audience growth — and in some cases consumption — during 2020, pointing to signs of a slight "attention recession" in the past few months.

The big picture: The COVID-19 pandemic drove a once-in-a-lifetime surge in the attention economy online, but the gradual return of normal life in many places — along with media overload and exhaustion — has down-shifted consumption patterns.

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