Apple expected to update iTunes with better sharing features

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Big changes are coming to Apple’s iTunes, according to Bloomberg, which cites unnamed sources. The alleged update will include improvement to the media service’s sharing functions, with iCloud taking a central role to that end.

By integrating iTunes with iCloud, Apple will allow users to more easily access media across various Apple devices. This will include songs, videos, and of course photos.

Furthermore, Apple is seeking to allow users to share songs with one another in a variety of ways. According to the report, this will include “tighter integration” with Facebook and Twitter, which would give users the ability to send songs to friends, and increase music discovery. (Friends will reportedly be able to listen to the tracks for free.) Apple is said to be working with music labels to enable this feature. This is also part of Apple’s strategy to take on music streaming service Spotify, which already allows users to share songs and playlists with friends.

Launched in 2003, iTunes remains a huge money maker for Apple. The service brought in a whopping $1.9 billion in revenue for Apple in the last quarter. ITunes also remains a cash cow for the music industry, accounting for the largest segment of its sales.

But Spotify is catching up. The streaming service, which recent partnered with Yahoo, now serves as the second largest source of revenue for major music labels.

Despite Spotify’s rise, iTunes still has the leg up on content, with more than 28 million songs (and 45,000 movies) currently available to customers. Spotify has the largest library of songs of any streaming service, with 16 million tracks in its coffers.

The reported iTunes update is expected to arrive by the end of this year.

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