There are still rumors that Apple plans to end music purchasing a la iTunes and go with streaming only a la Apple Music. However, in a Billboard interview, Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, says there’s no “end date” for music sales and the “music iTunes business is doing very well.”
“Downloads weren’t growing, and certainly are not going to grow again, but it’s not declining anywhere near as fast as any of them predicted or thought it would,” he added. “There are a lot of people who download music and are happy with it and they’re not moving towards subscriptions. We talked about subscriptions bringing a lot of new customers in, people who have never bought music. And if you look at Apple’s music revenue on a quarterly basis, because of subscriptions and because of sales, it’s now higher; it’s actually growing, which is great for the labels.”
Nine Inch Nails frontman and Apple Music Chief Creative Officer Trent Reznor told Billboard that: “It feels as though we’ve turned a corner in terms of the adoption of streaming. I think it’s inevitable that downloads will diminish, much like CDs. But I’ve started buying vinyl -- probably out of nostalgia, but also there’s something about a physical thing that has meaning to me as an artist. I think coexistence can take place.”
iTunes music downloads will still be worth an estimated $600 million in 2019. Sure that’s down from $3.9 billion in 2012, but it’s still $600 MILLION bucks.