Five sources close to Apple and its recently acquired competitor Beats have told Techcrunch that the latter’s fledgling streaming service will be shut down next May. As the site points out, the move makes sense on several levels, from the simple fact that Beats Music was barely mentioned in Tim Cook’s buzz-worthy product launch a few weeks back to the unlikelihood of Apple pitting its own iTunes Radio service against a program that essentially targets the same demographic.
It also looks like Apple is simply assigning some top Beats execs to preexisting Apple products, starting with Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers, who was asked to take over — you guessed it — iTunes Radio. As for how many users would be affected by the loss of Beats Music, Techcrunch said only 250,000 of 5 million trial users had actually signed up for a paid subscription after a test run last May. Meanwhile, Spotify has reported 40 million listeners (10 million of which pay for premium service), and Pandora has a user base of more than 76 million.
As for what might happen next, several potential outcomes were outlined by Techcrunch’s report, including the addition of a streaming option within iTunes and “some significant music announcement” in the first half of 2015. Apple has not responded to press requests on the matter yet; maybe they’re waiting for Apple Watch’s rollout early next year?