Apple appears to be removing many of the popular music downloading apps from the iOS App Store, including those that allowed users to obtain files from third-party file sharing sites. The move is likely in an attempt to push the iTunes Store and iTunes Radio, as well as to clean up the App Store ahead of an overhaul in iOS 8.

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A search for the term "music download" in the App Store displays a message inviting users to try out iTunes Radio, while glancing through the first few results shows apps for streaming services such as Spotify and other music-based apps that lack downloading capabilities.

Previously, the same search would show results for a number of apps that could download music and audio files from websites such as Soundcloud and YouTube, with many appearing on the App Store's "Top Charts" section. Some developers have also noted that Apple has asked them to remove audio downloading functionalities from their app, perhaps to prevent potential piracy.

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A previous search for "download" apps in the App Store. (Image credit: evolver.fm)

The crackdown on music downloading apps may very well be related a revamp that Apple will launch alongside iOS 8. Among those changes to the App Store include an improved search algorithm, an "Explore" feature to improve discoverability, app bundles, and TestFlight beta testing for developers. A report yesterday also highlighted Apple's crackdown on apps that incentivize ad watching and social sharing.

Thanks, Branden!

Top Rated Comments

Berti10 Avatar
95 months ago
If Apple would first release iTunes Radio outside US and Australia; that would be great.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nermal Avatar
95 months ago
If Apple would first release iTunes Radio outside US and Australia; that would be great.
No kidding. It's bizarre that it's not available in NZ since streaming rights are shared with Australia. Competitors like Pandora and Spotify launched in both countries simultaneously so I don't know what the hold up is for Apple.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MenaceF1 Avatar
95 months ago
It's all about licensing. Either the UK or EU won't allow Apple to stream music in that region. It's done based on country of residence rather than physical location. In the same way that you sometimes get content in the US iTunes store that you cannot get in the UK iTunes stores. So even if I'm in the Untied States, I can still only access content in the UK iTunes store.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MenaceF1 Avatar
95 months ago
Agreed. iTunes radio means nothing to people in the UK as it's not available here. It seems a little strange for Apple to remove other music streaming apps if their own isn't available as an alternative.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Reason077 Avatar
95 months ago

As detailed in the summary, apps that let you download from third parties. Spotify and Beats do not count. You are downloading from them. First party downloading,

Piracy apps, that are clearly piracy apps. Probably part of some concession with music industry
Well, that's fine if they're targeting piracy apps. They shouldn't have been on the app store in the first place.

But the article summary actually makes it sound they are targeting legitimate apps that compete with iTunes:

"The move is likely in an attempt to push the iTunes Store and iTunes Radio"
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Yvan256 Avatar
95 months ago
If Apple would first release iTunes Radio outside US and Australia; that would be great.


Sorry, couldn't resist.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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