According to a report out today from the Financial Times, Apple intends to have Beats Music make the leap from an optional App Store download to a pre-installed, permanent part of iOS.
It could happen as early as March, but it’s unlikely that “Beats Music” will appear with its current branding. Instead, the premium streaming music service is expected to be put under the iTunes umbrella, alongside music for purchase and iTunes Radio stations.
After all, iTunes has something like 200 million users, while Beats Music is estimated to have just 110,000 paying subscribers. Granted, it’s still relatively new compared to a more established streaming service like Spotify, which claims more than 12.5 million premium users and three times as many ad-supported free users.
Like iBooks before it, the rebranded Beats Music will no longer be an optional service available from the App Store, should the report prove correct. Instead, it will appear on all iPhones upon installation of an iOS system update.
Apple acquired Beats back in May, and Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor implied in a recent interview that he’s working with Apple on a music delivery service. After this autumn’s U2 album debacle, Apple might want to tread carefully when bundling in media with its software and devices – but at least Beats Music can be hidden away in a folder.
[Source: Financial Times]