The Financial Times is reporting that Apple plans to bundle the Beats Music app into iOS sometime early next year, perhaps as early as March.
As it stands today, Spotify currently has more than 50 million active users and 12.5 million paying subscribers. Given the prime piece of real estate that is the iOS homescreen, if Apple can convince just a small percentage of its iOS userbase to sign up for a Beats subscription, it could very quickly be on par with Spotify with regards to monthly revenue. What's more, with Apple Pay in tow, it'd be awfully convenient if iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2 users could sign up for a trial subscription without having to clumsily enter in credit card information and the like.
Apple will bundle the subscription music service it acquired from Beats into its iOS operating system early next year, instantly making it available on hundreds of millions of iPhones and iPads – and ramping up pressure on Spotify, the market leader in music streaming.
Traditionally, Apple has shied away from -- if not been downright dismissive of -- on-demand music services. As Steve Jobs used to love to say, people want to own their music, not rent it. Clearly, though, the music landscape has shifted a great deal over the past few years and streaming, whether it be via YouTube, Pandora, or Spotify, is where the action's at. Indeed, a report from earlier this month indicated that revenue from Spotify in Europe is already outpacing revenue from iTunes in Europe.
As a final point, the Financial Times relays that the Beats app may be re-branded underneath the iTunes umbrella.