It has been reported by Billboard that Apple is in the talks with major record labels to release an on-demand streaming service similar to Spotify, to help increase iTunes music sales. Apple is also supposedly looking to release an official iTunes app for the Android operating system. What’s in the talks is said to be part of a larger strategy in preventing the decline in U.S. iTunes downloads. Nielson SounScan has found that for the week of March 9th, digital album sales were down 13% and per-track sales were down 11% compared to the same time a year ago. There are also claims that Apple is discussing with labels to score exclusive rights for music content on iTunes for a set period of time.
An unnamed source from a major label quoted:
They are feeling out some people at labels on thoughts about transitioning its customers from iTunes proper to a streaming service. So when you buy a song for $1.29, and you put it in your library, iTunes might send an e-mail pointing out that for a total of, say, $8 a month you can access that song plus all the music in the iTunes store. It's all in the 'what if' stage.
Despite its competition with services like Spotify and Beats Music, iTunes continues to have a large impact on the music industry, creating more than 40% of U.S. recorded sales revenue. This percentage will definitely help Apple push for an expansion on its own streaming service.