SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Apple on Monday refuted talk that it plans to close the Beats streaming music service it acquired as part of a $3 billion-deal earlier this year.
In statements released to website Re/code and other technology news venues, Apple dismissed talk of shutting Beats as untrue.
However, it did not address whether the “Beats” name might be abandoned in favour of meshing the service into one bearing the California company’s powerful “iTunes” brand.
Apple is believed to be keenly interested in building on its relationships with musicians and the vast trove of iTunes users worldwide with a streaming music service.
News website TechCrunch had reported Monday Apple was set to discontinue the Beats streaming music service to focus on iTunes.
Citing sources at both Apple and Beats, TechCrunch reported that engineers from Beats music have been moved off the product and onto other projects at Apple, including iTunes.
Apple did not respond to an AFP query on the report.
TechCrunch said it had not determined a date for the shutdown but that five sources familiar with the product said Apple would “sunset” the brand. It also noted that Beats Music did not come pre-installed on the new iPhone 6 and 8 Plus.
The Apple Watch unveiled this month includes an unnamed music app with a blue play button, another sign of the end of Beats.