Since December, rumors have been brewing that Apple will be shutting down its iTunes Music Store as its streaming service, Apple Music, continues to grow exponentially. Those rumors have continued month after month, sometimes with Apple executives responding, sometimes not.
The latest nail in the coffin was at the end of March, when departing executive Jimmy Iovine commented on the matter. “If I’m honest, it’s when people stop buying,” he said. “It’s very simple.”
Now, according to “internal roadmaps” and reported by Digital Music News, that coffin is sealed shut. The service will reportedly officially announce the shut down on March 31, 2019.
At that point, Apple will begin to phase out the store portion of the service, giving users plenty of time to get their last licks in.
It’s noted that any content purchased through iTunes (MP3s, AACs, DRM-protected songs) will continue to work on all devices. Even iTunes itself will remain in some form, though its “paid download offering,” as referred to by DMN, will be excised.
An official final date for the service likely won’t come until next year, but we’ll let you know beforehand if it does.