Those rumors have since been refuted but in an interview with Billboard, the subject of music downloads coming to an end have been brought up again. In a question posed by Billboard, it asked Apple execs, “Record labels and publishers are also concerned with the decline in download sales. Will we see a streaming-only future and when?”
According to Apple exec Eddy Cue, “There’s no end date, and as a matter of fact, they should all be surprised and thankful to the results that they’re seeing because our music iTunes business is doing very well. Downloads weren’t growing, and certainly are not going to grow again, but it’s not declining anywhere near as fast as any of them predicted or thought it would.”
Trent Reznor, who involved with Apple Music, added that while the decline in music downloads is inevitable, he doesn’t see why streaming and downloads can’t exist side-by-side. “I think it’s inevitable that downloads will diminish, much like CDs. But I’ve started buying vinyl — probably out of nostalgia, but also there’s something about a physical thing that has meaning to me as an artist. I think coexistence can take place.”
In the meantime iOS 10 will see Apple make some much needed changes to Apple Music, such as improving upon its UI to make it easier to navigate, as well as introduce new features like lyrics.