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.