Apple shook up the recording industry when it introduced its wildly popular iTunes store. People were now buying MP3s instead of just downloading them, but it seems now speedy Internet is a thing, people would rather stream their tunes instead of hoard them on hoard disks or MP3 players.
Founder Steve Jobs has always been vehemently against making things easy for Android but it seems Apple just might surrender and create a way for Android users to tap into its iconic iTunes music service. And to top it all off, iTunes might just decide to compete directly against Spotify.
What's behind all of this? Money. Nielsen Soundscan recently released numbers on the digital music sales scene and they aren't pretty. US digital album sales are down 13 per cent, with digital track sales also down 11 per cent from last year. Revenue from streaming, however, has gone up by 51 per cent worldwide.
Learning from Sony
While the late Jobs has confessed he took a lot of his inspiration from Sony, Apple would do well to learn from Sony's mistakes as well.
Sony once attempted to close off its own services with proprietary formats but it ended up floundering as it bet the farm on formats that just couldn't grab enough market share. (We remember you with sad fondness, MiniDisc.)
So it makes sense that Apple tap into the huge potential market that is the Android userbase. There are more Android phone users than there are iPhone users, whether Apple likes it or not. Maybe they can't all be iPhone buyers but if they can still give Apple money by other means, why not? Because like it or not, iTunes still offers the best selection and most enjoyable music buying process as compared to all other similar digital music sellers.
We await the possibility of iTunes perhaps going to Windows Phone. Now that would be news indeed.