Apple may be preparing to deal a big blow to Spotify

Apple is reportedly talking to music labels about discontinuing their free music streaming licenses with Spotify, according to The Verge’s Micah Singleton.

If successful, this would be a giant blow to Spotify, which has 60 million users, only 15 of which are paid subscribers.

One music industry source even told The Verge that Apple is “cutthroat.”

The Department of Justice is said to be looking into Apple’s practices. Apple is likely trying to clear the way for its own music service, which is rumoured to debut in June and is said to be powered by Beats’ streaming music service.

Multiple reports have suggested that Apple’s service will be a paid streaming service, and could cost $US7.99 or per month — making it cheaper than the $US9.99 fee Spotify charges for its premium service.

If The Verge’s report proves to be accurate, it would appear that Apple is trying to make Spotify’s free music selection much more limited so that people will be more tempted to pay for its own service instead.

Apple is also reportedly trying to deal a similar blow to YouTube. The report says Apple offered to pay YouTube’s music licensing fee to Universal Music Group if the label stops putting its songs on YouTube.

Apple already has an antitrust monitor on its campus since it was found guilty in an e-book antitrust case last year, but the monitor’s oversight doesn’t extend beyond iBooks. A recent report from Reuters also suggested that Apple hasn’t been cooperating with this antitrust monitor as well as it used to.

This is only one tactic Apple has been reportedly pursuing in an attempt to beef up its much-expected music service. The company has reportedly been trying to court artists such as Taylor Swift and Florence and the Machine to offer new songs exclusively on its platform.

The music service will likely be integrated in Apple’s next big iPhone update, iOS 9, which we’ll learn about next month but probably won’t see debut until the fall. What makes this streaming music service such a big deal, however, is the fact that Apple is reportedly designing a version of the app for Android as well — making it the company’s first ever Android app.

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