- Billboard reports Apple (AAPL) has "opened exploratory talks with senior label executives" about launching a Spotify-like music streaming subscription service, and is also thinking about offering an Android iTunes app.
- Apple is also said to be weighing other efforts to support iTunes music sales, such as offering exclusive digital album-release windows, as it contends with a shifting digital music landscape.
- Trade group IFPI estimates global music streaming and subscription service revenue rose 51% in 2013, and that download revenue (still 2/3 of all digital revenue) fell 2.1%. Apple's iTunes music ARPU has declined sharply in recent years amid a shift in user spend towards apps.
- The launch of an Android app would be a first for Apple, whose mobile app launches have been iOS-only to date. If the app supported iTunes Radio, it would be a negative for Pandora (P), which thus far has been successful at dealing with iTunes Radio's challenge. P -1.4% AH.
- The report comes amid growing signs Spotify is prepping for an IPO.