With the growth of streaming services, the end of traditional music downloads seems inevitable. Spotify, Apple Music, TIDAL, SoundCloud, YouTube and other platforms have changed how people listen to music. Gone are the days where people flock to the iTunes store to download their favorite albums.


Last year, we reported on a rumor published by Digital Music News that Apple would be removing music downloads from the iTunes store. Now, Digital Music News has returned with reports of Apple planning to end music downloads in early 2019. According to the new reports, lagging music sales have accelerated Apple’s timeline for ending music downloads. Apparently, the roll-out will include a migration of a user’s iTunes downloads to an Apple Music account. This would evolve into a three-month trial—similar to the current three-month trial offered by Apple to new Apple Music users—in which a user’s playlists and downloads would be completely imported.

Additionally, any non-licensed music would not be available on Apple Music, but users will still be able to listen to those non-licensed songs until they become apart of Apple’s streaming service. Digital Music News‘ sources also told the publication that users’ issues with iTunes have influenced Apple’s decision to speed up its process to remove music downloads. Removing music downloads would free iTunes of extra “bloatware.”

While 2019 is still a ways off, it seems the era of traditional music downloads will soon come to an end. In the meantime, be sure to purchase all your favorite music not available on iTunes, just in case.