Apple has been forced to deny it plans to stop offering iTunes downloads via iPhones, iPads and Macs, after a report claimed that the company was set to pull the plug on music sales in the next two years.
Digital Music News, citing sources with close relationships with Apple, said that Apple would begin making downloads unavailable on a country-by-country basis, depending on where its Apple Music streaming service was proving the most popular.
The sources said this would mean countries such as the UK and US losing iTunes downloads first.
Another source said that an alternative plan was to phase out downloads over a three or four-year period.
Allegedly one Apple exec said that, “...keeping [downloads] running forever isn’t really on the table anymore.”
In a brief statement to Recode, Apple’s Tom Neumayr said of the claims, “Not true.”
Despite download sales being in decline, they still totalled $2.3 billion in the United States alone in 2015.
Physical and download sales are still in relatively rude health, despite the boom in streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music.
Apple is set to reveal a new look for its Apple Music platform at its Worldwide Developers Conference, which starts on June 13th in San Francisco.