Digital Music News today reports that Apple is “on schedule” to rid the iTunes Store Music Store of downloads by 2019.

The report explains that the move to phase out music downloads has been in place since 2016, but in a statement to 9to5Mac, Apple denies the report and simply says “it’s not true.”

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Digital Music News first reported the Apple was planning to shut down iTunes music downloads in 2016, but Apple denied the report flat-out, saying that it was “simply not true.” Apple’s statement today echoes the initial denial, almost verbatim.

The site, however, doesn’t seemed phased by Apple’s continued rebuttal and insists that a plan is in action and on schedule:

Apple has told DMN that no such phase-out plan exists.  One source has repeatedly insisted that the plan not only exists, but that it is ‘on schedule,’ or even ahead of the original schedule.

Currently, according to today’s report, Apple’s plan is to phase out iTunes music downloads by early 2019 and also has a preliminary plan for transitioning users from iTunes to Apple Music.

Apple reportedly plans to create new Apple Music accounts for all iTunes users, transitioning the downloaded songs to their streaming library, as well as playlists and other details. Users would have the three-month free trial period to get acquainted to the new service, but would always be able to listen to any music purchased in the past:

The phase-out strategy also includes a clever transition towards Apple Music, the company’s streaming platform, according to one source close to the transition.  According to details shared, the company would migrate a user’s iTunes download collection towards a brand-new Apple Music account.

While the source describes that transition method as “clever,” it’s worth pointing out that users who have resisted transitioning to Apple Music on their own have likely resisted for a reason. Apple automatically signing everyone up for Apple Music would almost certainly not go over smoothly.

This report should be taken with a massive grain of salt, especially considering Apple’s continued denials. Furthermore, there are still artists who resist the idea of streaming music on a broad scale, which makes licensing and obtaining rights harder for Apple.


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