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Apple began dismantling its iTunes team as early as 2016, data shows

5 months ago by Joshua Fruhlinger in Tech
Art by John Lee

Apple ($NASDAQ:AAPL) sent the business news world into a frenzy yesterday with a slew of announcements at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference. Among those were a new Power Mac, a new operating system, and the death of iTunes as a standalone brand.

Apple announced it would break iTunes into separate apps for music, video, and podcasts and headlines like "RIP iTunes as we know it" and "A Farewell for iTunes" quickly followed.

But our data reveals that Apple had been showing its cards for years, as job listings for employees focused on iTunes — and job listings with the term "iTunes" in them — have been seeing a gradual decline since as early as 2016.

In 2016, Apple listed nearly 100 positions with the term "iTunes" in their titles. iTunes job listings coasted to a low of 36 in August 2017, but reached another high after a hiring period in late 2017. But that appears to have been the end of growth for the iTunes group as we know it.

As of this week, 'iTunes" job listings at Apple have diminished to just 37 in a sign that not only is the iTunes brand being phased out on consumer machines, but it's also being used less internally at the Cupertino technology giant.

As eluded to in Apple's announcements to build out Music, TV, and Podcasts as their own apps, Apple isn't done when it comes to iTunes initial component media. Job listings with the terms "Music", "TV", and "Podcast" are all on the rise, further evidence that Apple HR is busy building out separate teams for the various media types that once made up iTunes as a whole.

While not terribly surprising in light of this week's announcement, the data tells a story that, in this case, is highly reflective — and at one point in time predictive — of a major move by Apple.

Apple announcing the division of iTunes into Music, Podcasts, and TV

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Joshua Fruhlinger

Joshua has been writing about technology, lifestyle, and business for over 20 years. He's one of the original writers and editors for Engadget, and still writes a...

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