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.
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.
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.