Apple may be considering a number of intriguing changes to its music strategy, according to a Billboard report published on Friday.
The music publication relays that Apple has "opened exploratory" talks with record labels regarding the potential for an Apple-backed on-demand music streaming service. While Steve Jobs long toed the line that consumers want to own their music, the overwhelming success and popularity of apps like Spotify and Pandora certainly suggests otherwise. Indeed, Apple's foray into streaming music with iTunes Radio is emblematic of Apple's awareness that the musical landscape today is far different than it was even four years ago.
Billboard further relays that Apple may be contemplating the release of an iTunes App for Android devices.
Apple is also thinking about adding an iTunes App for Android phones, the Google rival that has been growing faster than the iPhone, these sources said. The surprising discussions are part of a multi-pronged strategy to deal with the double-digit decline in U.S. download sales at Apple's iTunes Music Store, the largest music retailer.
There have also been separate rumblings that Apple has plans to make iTunes Radio a standalone app, perhaps in an effort to draw in more users.
Lastly, note that 2013 was the first year that the iTunes Music Store experienced a year over year decline in digital track sales. As a result, Apple has reportedly been eyeing a number of different strategies to reverse the trend. Most notably, Beyonce's most recent album was initially released as an iTunes exclusive. The result? The self-titled album quickly became the fastest selling iTunes album in history.