The controversy over steaming services has been one of the hottest topics in the music industry this year, and now Apple is adding even more fuel to the fire. If the drama with Tidal wasn’t enough for you, it now appears as though Apple has been pushing major music labels to force streaming services (ahem, Spotify) to abandon their widely-used free streaming tiers.
This sneaky and spiteful move is, of course, also a strategic one. The removal of Spotify’s free streaming — and resulting loss of users — will dramatically reduce the competition for Apple’s upcoming launch of their own streaming service, expected to drop this June.
According to The Verge, Apple has been using its influence in the music industry to stop music labels from renewing Spotify’s license to stream music through its free tier. The music-streaming giant currently has a whopping 60 million users — but only 15 million of them are actually paid users. Getting music labels to stop free streaming from Spotify and others could put Apple in pretty position to pick up some newly freed-up users when it launches its own service.
If Apple convinces the labels to stop licensing freemium services from Spotify, it could take out a significant portion of business from its largest music competitor.
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