Sunday 22 April 2018

Another Angle: Why Apple needs to get Beats so badly

Rapper Dr Dre wears a pair of Beats headphones
Rapper Dr Dre wears a pair of Beats headphones

Mark Milian

Apple established itself as the centre of digital music for most of the world over the course of a decade. The company has resisted all-access music streaming services under the assumption that people would rather own, not rent, their music.

This belief is turning out to be false for more people every year, as music-industry data show. After years of steady growth, digital-music downloads globally declined slightly last year, according to IFPI, the recording industry trade group. Downloads still dwarf streaming – 67pc versus 27pc worldwide last year – but tastes are changing. Revenue from streaming has more than tripled since 2010, surpassing €725m for the first time last year, IFPI data show.

In Ireland, it's a similar trend. Services such as Spotify and Deezer are attracting smartphone-users in greater numbers, while download-to-purchase services are declining in line with falling iPod sales.

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