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By 2018, Apple may kill off digital downloads forever

13 years ago, as illicit services like Napster threatened to bleed the music business dry, Steve Jobs changed how we listen to music forever and, in the process, threw the industry a life preserver (though, at the time, some considered it a straitjacket).

With iTunes, Apple gave listeners a way to download, store, and share music affordably and legally. In preparation for a streaming-only future of music, however, Apple will reportedly bring an end to the historic “download era” by terminating digital download sales on iTunes within two years, sources tell Digital Music News.

It’s nothing personal, it’s simply a numbers game. While digital downloads still make up a substantial portion of the total US music revenues, 2015 was the first year that the industry made more money off of streaming than downloads—and Apple surely predicts that this trend will only continue.

DH