iTunes Store for Android reportedly considered by Apple

iTunes Store

It's possibly the last thing we'd expect to happen, but a new report suggests that Apple is looking at the possibility of launching the iTunes Store on Android. Yes, Android. It all stems from the folks at Billboard, who claim Apple is talking to the record labels about the plans and more:

Apple has opened exploratory talks with senior label executives about the possibility of launching an on-demand streaming service that would rival Spotify and Beats Music, according to three people familiar with the talks. Apple is also thinking about adding an iTunes App for Android phones, the Google rival that has been growing faster than the iPhone, these sources said.

Of the two, an on-demand music service definitely feels more likely. iTunes Radio does its thing very well, but folks who prefer the Spotify type model of listening to whichever tracks and albums take their fancy are out of luck. So, it's not at all inconceivable that iTunes Radio could eventually expand to encompass this type of service.

The iTunes for Android talk is more intriguing, but also more dubious. It is absolutely possible that Apple would see a viable revenue stream there, but this rumor should be treated as exactly that. There is an extensive amount of hurdles to overcome should anything like this ever come to fruition, and the thought of it is very un-Apple like.

Times change, though. As much as Apple might dislike it, Android has the numbers. And with digital music sales gradually on the decline, perhaps another iTunes for Windows style compromise might be in order. Would you welcome the expansion of the iTunes Store to Android? Or do you think it should stay as it currently is?

Source: Billboard

Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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There are 40 comments. Add yours.

IIJBII says:

I think this would be great. That's one thing I don't like when using android. Not bashing android it's because I'm not familiar w music transfer on that platform.

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TomW093 says:

I recommend the app Doubletwist. It scans your music library and syncs music between your PC and phone just like iTunes does with iOS devices.

Rene Ritchie says:

I'd still prefer iTunes in the Cloud, so that any device with a browser could access iTunes content. Apple did that for iWork in the Cloud, and it feels like a better solution going forward for two reasons 1) For customers it means almost any platform would work, 2) For Apple it means only maintaining one additional platform (the Web) and using it as a halo for native on the iPhone.

iSRS says:

I'm with you, Rene. Though a dedicated app makes some sense, it is more overhead. Though there are some advantages, namely offline storage.

The app also makes sense if, and I assume Apple knows when it is coming, the services market becomes more important than it is today to them. Device sales will plateau/slow, where services are ongoing.

Dev from tipb says:

Nah...iTunes in the cloud would be iTunes Radio...streaming only, as there is a snowball's chance in hell Apple would set up arbitrarily downloadable music lockers. This effectively means desktops...and mobile devices that have a consistent, fast connection, give their browsers uninterruptible background priority, and have generous data caps. It would be an unusable experience on mobile - and Apple does not do unusable.

Unless Apple is doing this to support desktop Linux, this makes little sense - the important desktop platforms already have the real iTunes, and mobile devices that do not already have iTunes would be far better served by a native app. iTunes in the cloud would sell a negligible amount of new content. iTunes on Android, on the other hand, has the potential to sell media to an ocean of new customers - the only question would be if that is enough to offset both development costs and the loss of whatever dent to hardware sales Apple believes might occur.

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C4LE says:

Plus, it would allow them to kill iTunes for windows and and gut the bloated beast that is iTunes for the Mac. All Mac users want things like podcast, iTunes U, apps, etc. to be pulled from iTunes and become standalone which in turn allows iTunes to become more focused. So, I agree with Rene, iTunes in the cloud is the not just the best option, it's the only option.

counterculture says:

I knew this would eventually happen and I'm not necessarily opposed to it. I, personally, would not want an android device to run iTunes (simply because of the interface) but I could see some people enjoying this.

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ridiculocity says:

Can't see the problem with this when the iTunes Store is a major part of the music industry. Every new album/single us advertised on the iTunes Store is the mass media. It means more money for Apples massive music business, artists and lets android owners have access to a massive music store. Let's hope if it comes to fruition they do a better job then iTunes for windows.

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Dark_Huntress says:

Nope wouldn't welcome the expansion at all. Folks want iTunes on Android? Buy an iPhone .

mzanette says:

So if you want iTunes on Windows you need to buy a Mac?

Bardhok Ndoji says:

It makes sense on windows because of iPod's, that was the reason why. If Apple wanted to sell iPod's to window user's, it had to make it possible for them to synchronize their music on their PC's. iTunes on Android doesn't make that much sense to be honest. But I am pro it. It benefits me if I ever wanted to buy and Android phone and have access to my iTunes purchases.

Premium1 says:

It makes sense on android for $$$. The tons and tons of devices running android could be a huge cash cow for apple.

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Bardhok Ndoji says:

That's only one side of the coin!
OK, take a look at this. It's known fact that Apple makes most of it's profit from hardware (mostly iPhone's) and it's users are somehow locked in it's ecosystem. The core of Apple's ecosystem is the iTunes. Currently there are no tablets I would buy over iPad but there are some attractive smartphones that I would consider. But since I have invested so much in Apple's ecosystem (tracks, movies, music videos) I won't move to Android. Imagine now if iTunes was made available for Android how many iPhone users would switch platform?? Unless Apple does something really magical with iPhone 6 (chances are they will enlarge the screen) You were saying that Apple would make tons of $$$? That may very well be the truth but it would definitely be outweghited by the tons of $$$$$$$ they would loose. Not to mention that with everything leaning towards streaming media, iTunes profit is not gonna be what it once was.

Derrick4Real says:

folks simply want to buy music from the itunes store. And providings options doesn't hurt anybody.

Trappiste says:

Why would you not welcome it? Would it deprive you of something? 90% of the world's phone and tablet users will not able to afford an iProduct, ever. So this is the only way Apple can keep iTunes growing. Apple is in the business of making money. This way, they can make more money => Apple will go for it.

Illustrator Joe says:

Where did you get your statics? The comment thread is boarding the fail train.


Illustrator Joe says:

Imagine if Google said the same thing...


Hollyw0od says:

Want to use Buy an Android. Get real and stop being such a fanboy.

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garment69 says:

I remember when RIM said that about BBM.

richard451 says:

perhaps the entry for iMessage on Android?

I don't see how this could be a bad thing for anyone

Illustrator Joe says:

This I would give a chance. ITunes... No thanks.


TomW093 says:

I'd rather have iMessage, but this is good for those that may want it.

heyjohnnybravo says:

I'd love it. I have a Note 3 but my computers run OS X and I use iTunes and it would be a lovely thing to have.

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John Kerby says:

What about a native Windows 8 iTunes app

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SockRolid says:

Does "Embrace, extend, extinguish" ring a bell?

Illustrator Joe says:

Good luck with that. Seems desperate more than anything. iTunes music sales are in a slump.


Derrick4Real says:

i'm surprised it's taken this long. Honestly i'd have thought they'd have also offered icloud storage as well. Any "service" that's apple can charge for i'd offer on other platforms but free or a substantial discount if you buy apple hardware.

ManuelOrozco says:

I think it's logical, after all apple it's doing business, and they'll do what's best for them, but like the article it's saying, just a rumor, and probably a long term one, iTunes Radio it's no even on every country...

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Illustrator Joe says:

It's illogical to expand your product to more potential customers?


GeniusUnleashed says:

Not likely? They have iTUnes on Windows, so why do you think this ins't likely? I wrote about this two years ago, saying Apple made the biggest mistake of the new millenium by not opening up iTunes/The App store to Android phones. Imagine if you could buy music and apps from Apple that worked on Android phones. Imagine teh level of quality we'd have right now if devs didn't have to waste time trying to port their games to multiple platforms and could focus solely on one and make it That would be so nice.

iSRS says:

The apps wouldn't work. Same reason the MAS doesn't sell windows applications.

GeniusUnleashed says:

If they had opened it before Google got their app store going, Google might have bowed to public pressure to incorporate it into their coding. Maybe not, but look how integrated iTunes is in Windows now.

Danny8200 says:

iTunes on android ? Why not?!!!?! It's good stuff. iOS and android are both good OS's. Just a matter of personal preference I always say.

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benjitek says:

Yeah right... April 1st is still ways off, looks like some tech blogs are doing practice runs ;-)

spackmanstephen says:

Bring it. Google Play Music has a TERRIBLE music library.

The movie and TV library leaves a lot to be desired too.

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verpeiler089 says:

I'd love it! Especially if iTunes match would be available too

Negaduck says:

I think they should get iTunes Radio working internationally first.

Jonathantantw says:

Apple will connect everyone! We can send gifts to android users if they do that!

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LCW says:

the more Apple can diversify cross-platform, the better imo...

richard_rsp says:

I think this is a fantastic idea; but don't stop with Android! I am an Apple (Mac/iPad) user, but am now using a Windows Phone. I prefer all of my purchases through iTunes, but when I hear an awesome song on Pandora or out in public, guess what I want to do? Download it. Most of the time, I try to hold off until I get home (so I can get it from iTunes), but usually I will either forget about it, or if needed, will go ahead and get it from xBox music. By having iTunes on Windows Phone, I would not only buy more from itunes, but would likely be buying more music in general... Sounds like a WinWin for Apple/the Music industry.