The writing was on the wall last week when Apple failed to make mention of Beats Music at the iPhone 6/iOS 8 reveal last week, but now it’s official that the service is no more:
Considering Apple’s penchant for simple, unified brands, and how it despises fragmentation, shutting down Beats Music makes a lot of sense. Running a second music service in parallel with iTunes that forces people to learn a whole new interface might have confused customers. Beats Music’s CEO Ian Rogers was also put in charge of iTunes Radio, meaning he’s already splitting his time rather than just focusing on Beats Music.
Shutting down Beats Music also meshes with reports that the Beats acquisition was mostly about getting Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre’s talent on board, and picking up the headphone business, not about streaming music. Having Beats as a side brand in music accessories flows naturally, but seems clumsy when it comes to software. We’ve contacted Apple with a request for comment on its plans for Beat Music.
Apple I’m sure will decline to comment. What really remains to be seen is if Dre and Iovine and Rogers can turn iTunes Radio into a hit, or if Apple blew $3,000,000,000 on its biggest-ever buyout.