According to a new report from the Financial Times, Apple is expected to bundle the Beats Music streaming service with an upcoming version of iOS next year.
Apple will bundle the subscription music service it acquired from Beats into its iOS operating system early next year, instantly making it available on hundreds of millions of iPhones and iPads – and ramping up pressure on Spotify, the market leader in music streaming.
The report comes amid rumors that Apple is planning to rebrand the Beats Music subscription service for a potential relaunch around February, although FT has added that the bundling is expected “as early as March.” Apple, of course, acquired the Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre-founded subscription music service alongside the Beats headphones and speaker line earlier this year as part of a $3 billion acquisition.
Since the acquisition officially closed at the end of July, Apple has since promoted the Beats Music app for iPhone and iPad on the App Store through a prompt for new customers alongside its collection of other apps.
Recent reports has claimed that Apple is negotiating with music labels to cut streaming music fees as it actively works to lower the subscription cost to $5/month from it’s current $10/month rate.
The Financial Times report adds the the bundled version of the Beats Music will likely exist under the iTunes brand.
The paid subscription streaming music service would join the already included iTunes Store for purchasing digital downloads of music as well as the free (with ads) iTunes Radio music service.
Apple confirmed in its annual report filed last month that iTunes experienced a decline in digital music sales with one report pegging the decline as high as 14%.