According to a report from TechCrunch, Apple plans to shut down the Beats Music streaming service it recently acquired through its acquisition of Beats. The report cites several sources close to the situation including “several prominent employees at Apple and Beats”:
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Many engineers from Beats Music have already been moved off the product and onto other projects at Apple, including iTunes. It’s not clear when exactly Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre’s music service will be shut down or what Apple will do with streaming, but every source with knowledge of the situation that we talked to agreed Apple plans to sunset the Beats Music brand.
Update: Apple tells Re/code that the streaming service is not shutting down. However, Re/code says that the branding could be altered at some point in the future.
What exactly Apple has planned for the Beats Music team and product is unclear. The report points out that Beats executive Ian Rogers had been put in charge of iTunes Radio previously, so it’s possible Apple has plans to wrap Beats Music streaming features into its iTunes products. While Beats Music didn’t get any stage time at Apple’s recent iPhone and Apple Watch unveiling, Apple did just recently launch a new dedicated Beats Music Apple TV channel. It also started advertising the Beats Music app to new iOS customers alongside its other iOS apps and pushed the service on its website and elsewhere.
When Apple acquired the company, Tim Cook and other Apple executives spoke on several occasions about the talent behind the Beats Music streaming service being a big motivating factor in the deal. After officially announcing the deal, Apple said that it planned to continue offering the Beats Music app on iOS, Android and Windows devices and up until now there has been no indication the service would be shut down. Apple has also been pushing the Beats headphones business heavily on its website, but it’s unclear at this point what Apple has planned for branding on that side of the business.
Earlier this year we reported that Apple was transitioning the Beats team to Apple while eliminating redundant positions. At the time, our sources close to the situation said that Beats Music executives Ian Rogers and Trent Reznor would stay on at Apple alongside Beats Music co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre. Apple confirmed that report in a statement by noting that it offered all Beats employees positions, but that some would be temporary due to overlap at the companies.