|Owners of Beats Electronics, Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine. Photo: Australian/AP|
Excerpt: "Apple's slipping hold on music is more of a danger to its psyche than its coffers. At last count, its music downloads were bringing in $4 billion a year, only a fraction of Apple's total $171 billion in revenue. But the company has to be worried about losing its grip on such a crucial part of its brand.
"After all, Apple has long prided itself on outsmarting the major labels when it came to digital music. Now it risks becoming the sort of slow-to-react behemoth it once disrupted. At its core, the acquisition of Beats [for $3.2b] can be seen as a bid to stay relevant in the music world--a world that is central to Apple's modern identity..."
" ... Downloads for the entire industry have slid more than 13% in the first quarter of 2014, while streaming services--which Steve Jobs notoriously ignored, insisting that people didn't want to "rent" songs--are remaking the music landscape.Thanks to companies like Spotify, Pandora, and YouTube, song and video streams grew to 34 billion this year, an increase of 9 billion from a year ago..."