You might be using iTunes next year to stream your favourite tracks instead of buying them, thanks to Beats Music, it's claimed.

In a report largely about how iTunes' digital music sales have slumped roughly 14 per cent worldwide since last year, The Wall Street Journal has speculated that Apple bought Beats Music for $3 billion in an attempt to stem those losses before they get out of hand.

The report cited an unnamed person familiar with the matter and claimed Apple made the decision to buy Beats Music earlier this year as worldwide revenue from recorded music dropped. Revenue only totaled $15 billion, for instance, in 2013. Forbes even reported that despite being nearly 10 months into 2014, no US releases since January have reached platinum status (1 million copies sold).

The decline in album sales is nothing new, mostly because of all the streaming options now available. In fact, according to the RIA, streaming services now account for nearly one-third of the revenue from recorded music in the US. And that's why Apple allegedly wants to relaunch the streaming service Beats Music, which costs $10 a month per subscription, as part of iTunes in 2015.

Apple will of course have to convince users to pay up. Spotify is partly synonymous with streaming music because it offers a free, ad-supported option, but at the moment, Beats Music doesn't offer such a plan. Apple has time to change all that by next year though.

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