Is This the End of iTunes?
Apple has set a date when it will axe iTunes for good, according to reports.
The tech giant is looking to scrap music downloads because of the popularity of its Apple Music streaming service and rivalry with platforms like Spotify.
According to leaked reports, iTunes will be phased out by March 31, 2019.
Apple introduced the iTunes LP format in 2009 as part of its bid to usher albums into the online age.
It allows users to purchase individual songs or whole albums digitally.
But this revolution in music consumption - which ended the shelf life of CDs and helped shut record shops like HMV - has been short lived.
Now even music downloads are obsolete, with streaming services dooming iTunes to the recycle bin.
While Apple apparently informed industry insiders of its decision two weeks ago, Metro shared the details of a leaked letter titled "The End of iTunes LPs" today.
In the letter, Apple adds that those customers who have already purchased an iTunes LP will still be able to download the additional content through iTunes Match: Apple's cloud-based music storage service, which costs £19.99 per year.
Rumours of iTunes' death have been circulating since 2016.
Back then, a report (that was later rebuffed by Apple) suggested the service would be killed off in 2018.
Meanwhile, Apple Music is going from strength to strength, with The Wall Street Journal predicting its tally of paying subscribers will overtake Spotify in the US this summer.
Globally, though, Spotify remains far ahead with 70 million subscribers, compared to Apple Music's 36 million user base.
Yesterday we revealed that Spotify is launching a new free service that allows you to pick individual songs.