You Could Never Download Music From ITunes In South Korea - Here's Why We Hope Downloads Are Here To Stay In The UK
South Koreans are unable to download music from iTunes. Could the same happen here? Let's talk...
What has happened is that Apple has launched Apple Music in the region, just without the option to download and keep music. Users can only stream music.
Why is this important?
The way we enjoy music is changing rapidly. Streaming services (as you’ve probably guessed) are becoming increasingly popular, and this year has seen reports – which Apple denied – that iTunes downloads were set to be phased out completely.
This morning, Apple Music launched in South Korea, which is the eighth biggest music market in the world. What Apple did today doesn’t contradict their statement (mentioned above). As it stands, iTunes downloads are here to stay, but the move does hint that things could dramatically change over the next few years.
What happens if this new-look iTunes, which doesn’t include the option to download music and only offers the Apple Music streaming service, is a success? Could we see downloads phased out here in the UK, and in other regions, in the future?
What’s the problem with this?
Opinions will differ from person to person depending on your habits. Some of you might not buy any physical music (e.g. vinyls, CDs etc.) at all, and some of you might not download any music either, preferring to use streaming services exclusively. Fair enough. That’s probably quite common.
Indeed, Digital Music News wrote that: “in 2016, paid music downloads are experiencing double-digit declines, with both Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group reporting drastic collapses in the format.” Will news like this spur Apple into ditching digital downloads all together in the not too distant future?
Streaming is here to stay, but that doesn’t mean that people don’t enjoy the ability to download the music still. Apple might be correct if they’ve identified streaming as the way forward – but it would be a crying shame if they didn’t still allow us to have the choice to download music, even if we don’t ever truly own anything that’s digital.
Being able to download music has its benefits over streaming. For example, streaming through your mobile phone is terrible, and it chews through your data faster than Bruce Bogtrotter ate that chocolate cake in Matilda. (Why did I name-drop Bruce Bogtrotter in an article about music downloads...) (Why have I not deleted that line yet?)
Also, if you’re like me, you might quite like being able to download/buy albums, to actually have the music you love. I remember how, on the school bus, everyone would pass around his or her iPods, and you could check out what everyone else’s music tastes (via their whole music library) was like, and you could share yours too. It was like you were curating something, and it felt special and unique. Streaming isn’t quite the same, even if Spotify has tried to recreate this feeling by adding the ‘Your Music’ section, where music you select is added to your personal section on the app.
Of course, in the UK, you can still download music from iTunes. The concern is that, in the near future, Apple will try to force us to onto their streaming service by discontinuing the download option.
Talk to us!
What do you think? Would you be upset if Apple removed the ability to download music from iTunes? Or does this change nothing? Let us know over on Twitter @MTVUK. We want to hear your thoughts!