Apple winding down Beats Music streaming service as we know it

Apple doesn’t plan to completely shut down the Beats Music streaming service any time soon and will instead rebrand it gradually to reflect its new position as part of the Cupertino-based firm.

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People familiar with Apple’s thinking told re/code that it won’t be abandoning the service that it bought back in May as part of the Beats deal and the preferred course of action is to simply change the name.

It came after Tom Neumayr, Apple’s PR representative, came out to state a TechCrunch story that had predicted the shuttering on Beats Music was “not true” despite five sources telling the website that it was.

Beats Music, when it was bought as part of the $3 billion [£1.8 billion] Beats acquisition in May, was worth some $500 million [£300 million] of the final purchase price and at the time had only 200,000 users – a number that has yet to mushroom.

The service, which lags way behind the likes of Spotify and Pandora in the streaming sector, offers unlimited music for a cheap monthly fee of $10 [£6] and it’s still unclear exactly how Apple intends to use it.

iTunes remains a huge part of the firm’s revenues, even with the recent U2 free download fiasco, and it also has iTunes Radio as part of the package meaning that Beats Music could find a home somewhere amongst them if it is indeed rebranded.

Related: A closer look at what Apple has actually acquired for $3b with Beats

Even if it does rebrand it as part of the iTunes brand, it very much looks as though Apple plans to do-away with the Beats Music name and instead focus on the headphones as well as integrating both Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre into the company’s creative ranks.