The Department Of Justice is rumored to be looking into Apple’s business practices concerning streaming music. Why would the DOJ be investigating? According to The Verge, Apple has been pushing the music labels to remove the free tier from streaming services. As Spotify negotiates to renew their licenses with music labels, Apple is lobbying music labels to not include a license for a free music tier anymore.
If successful, this would greatly reduce the competition when Apple releases the new Beats Music. To date, Spotify is the most successful streaming service with 60 million users. 15 million pay for a subscription so 45 million use Spotify’s free (ad-supported) service. If Spotify is forced to delete their free version, it will unleash a lot of early-adaptor-music-fans that Apple may woo over to their new Beats Music.
Any other reason why the DOJ would be looking into Apple’s streaming agenda? Reportedly Apple “offered to pay YouTube’s music licensing fee to Universal Music Group if the label stopped allowing its songs on YouTube.” Now let’s state the obvious, YouTube is the number one music listening channel in the world, by far. If the worlds largest music label, Universal, were to take their songs off of YouTube, Apple will have artificially constructed a demand for their new Beats Music… maybe. Let’s see if paying loads of money up front is a successful strategy for Apple this time around.