Apple’s flagship service iTunes is in for a much-needed overhaul, according to a Bloomberg report that cites unnamed people familiar with the matter.
The changes are said to include further integration with its iCloud cloud storage service and increased sharing functionality in regards to music, with heavier integration with Twitter and Facebook. The report indicated that Apple was interested in getting permission from music labels to enable features that would allow a user’s friends to listen to purchased songs for free. Google’s Google Play Music app already allows this, but users can only listen to songs a limited number of times.
The company is also planning to improve content discovery on iTunes, with purchases of both music and video. Rival Google just released its own set of discovery features that will largely debut with the latest version of its Android operating system. So, clearly, Apple understands that it’s lagging behind in this fight.
While the iCloud integration will probably increase the number of people using iTunes, the music sharing is something that’s long overdue — especially with the rise of social streaming music services like Spotify. Bloomberg’s sources stated that the music industry is also urging Apple to launch a subscription-based all-you-can-eat music download model. Since this would likely decrease Apple’s media sales revenue, it’ll probably never happen.
The changes are expected to roll out before the end of the year, which would be nearly a decade after iTunes first launched.