Apple’s worldwide digital music sales through iTunes have dropped up as much as 14% in 2014, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal citing sources close to the situation. That’s a big decrease, as the report points out, when compared to data available for digital sales last year:
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The dive in download sales is stark compared with a much shallower dip last year. Global revenue from downloads fell 2.1% in 2013, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, but that decline was offset by increases in revenue from ad-supported and subscription streaming services, resulting in overall digital revenue growth in most markets last year… Factoring in CD sales, which have been plunging for well over a decade, overall music sales in most of the world held steady last year. Japan was an exception, with steep drops in physical and digital sales alike.
The drop in digital sales vs an increase for revenue streaming service is thought to be one of the big motivating factors behind Apple’s purchase of Beats. And on that note, the report adds that Apple is planning on “rebuilding Beats Music and plans to relaunch it next year as part of iTunes.”
A possible rebranding for Beats Music is something Apple hinted at earlier this year in response to rumors it might shut down the newly acquired streaming service. The rebranded Beats Music service, possibly under Apple’s iTunes branding as reported by The Wall Street Journal today, was previously rumored to be planned for February.