Following a widely-publicized skirmish with Taylor Swift earlier this month, Spotify may soon have another much-beloved enemy in its crosshairs: Apple.
In what is reportedly the tech giant’s first attempt to capitalize on its $3 billion purchase of Beats Electronics in May, Apple will bake Beats’ music-streaming service into an iOS software update slated for March.
Like other proprietary Apple apps, the move would preinstall Beats Music on hundreds of millions of iPhones and iPads, reports the Financial Times. Whereas Beats Music counts a mere 110,000 subscribers, Apple has an estimated 200 million active iTunes customers. Today, streaming leader Spotify boasts 10 million subscribers.
The move would also mark Apple’s first foray into the subscription music business amid decelerating iTunes sales, according to the Times. Apple also offers a third music product -- iTunes Radio, which is an ad-supported service similar to Pandora.
Beats Music, which currently charges users $10 per month for streams and downloads from a catalog of roughly 20 million songs, will likely be rebranded under the iTunes moniker, according to the Times. And Apple could make the service compatible with its newly-unveiled Apple Pay feature or link the push to the launch of its forthcoming Apple Watch next year.
While many are curious about how Apple intends to incorporate Beats, one recent preinstallation by Apple was met with a collective groan. After U2’s Songs of Innocence was automatically added to iTunes libraries the world over, Apple released a step-by-step guide for users desperate to delete the album.