Apple’s iTunes store rumoured to get an update before 2012 is out

28 Jun 2012

Apple appears to be turning a lot of its focus on growing and enhancing its online media store iTunes, with expansion to 12 markets in Asia and the launch of a standalone Podcasts app this week, and, now, rumours of an overhaul by the close of the year.

In December 2011, iTunes was rolled out to 15 South American countries and, this week, it was announced that 12 countries in Asia will now have access to localised iTunes services.

Revenue from iTunes reached US$1.9bn last quarter and saw the online store become the world’s No 1 music retailer.

Since its debut in 2003, iTunes has grown to include more than just music (of which it now provides more than 28m songs), with movies, TV shows, podcasts and apps all available through the store.

Apart from growing its content base, iTunes hasn’t changed much since its early years, but Bloomberg reports today that an overhaul is on the cards, marking the largest change to the online media store since its launch.

The report claims the revamp will be completed by the end of this year and will integrate iCloud, Apple’s cloud storage service, and will include new features for sharing music, such as increased integration with Facebook and Twitter.

As iTunes gets bigger, so, too, do users’ content libraries, and all this content is set to become more accessible with the update, which will help people manage their files and find new material.

Apple also seems to be exploring new ways for users to access content previously only available through iTunes as this week saw the launch of a dedicated podcast app. As simple as its name, Podcasts, the new app takes what was originally a feature for iTunes and turns it into a basic stand-alone service.

Music image via Shutterstock

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.