Nearly six months after Apple purchased Beats Music as part of a $3 billion acquisition, the company is reportedly planning to bundle it directly into iOS, a move that would effectively bring the subscription streaming music service to every iPhone and iPad.
According to a New York Times report, the integration could happen next year, perhaps as early as March -- the same time around which Apple Watch is expected to launch -- and will allow users to push Beats music from their iPhones to the smartwatch. The report also notes that Beats will remain a paid service but will likely be rebranded under the iTunes umbrella.
The move is reportedly aimed at ramping up pressure on Spotify, which currently has over 50 million active users and 12.5 million paying subscribers. Although those numbers are ridiculously high compared to Beats' subscriber base, which currently stands at just 110,000, things could change if even a small percentage of iOS users sign up for the service.
Apple has also been pushing music labels to offer price cuts, something that would help the company offer Beats Music at price point of just $5 per month – half of what it costs today.
The news also comes nearly a couple of months after there were reports that Apple is planning to discontinue the streaming music service, and has shifted many Beats Music engineers to other projects, although the Cupertino-based company later played down the rumors.