As you should know by now, the music industry is in the midst of another shift. The industry never quite figured out digital sales, but now the market is moving more towards subscription services and sales are dropping. This is a big reason why Apple purchased Beats Audio; and, now we're getting an idea of the plans for the Beats streaming service.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple has seen iTunes music sales has dropped somewhere between 13 and 14% globally since the beginning of 2014. This is a pretty big dip in the numbers for iTunes, which had been on the decline in 2013, but not as badly. In 2013, Apple saw music download revenue drop just 2.1%. It seems that, Apple saw the shift, and didn't think it could build its own streaming service fast enough and to its standards, and bought Beats instead.
The plan seems to be to build Beats into iTunes, which isn't much of a surprise. Although, it does confirm what TechCrunch reported last month that the announcement could come as soon as the first half of 2015. Now, the question remains as to what the service will look like. Hand-curated playlists have been mentioned by Tim Cook a couple times, so those seem likely to be in it. But, otherwise, we'll have to wait and see.