Spotify, one of Europe's most successful startups, could be about to feel the wrath of Apple, after it was reported that the Silicon Valley heavyweight intends to integrate the Beats music streaming service it acquired from musician Dr Dre into iPhones and iPads around the world.
According to the Financial Times, Apple plans to make its Beats Music subscription service part of its iOS software from early in 2015, presenting fast-growing Spotify, co-headquartered in Stockholm and London, with a potential headache.
The move is understood to be part of a push to get Apple's iTunes users to try the streaming service.
Apple acquired Beats Electronics in May this year for $US3 billion (£1.91 billion), snapping up its headphones business as well as Beats Music, which launched in the US in January as a rival to Spotify, Deezer and other streaming services.
The FT's claim that it will be pushed to "hundreds of millions of iPhones and iPads" also hints that the Beats Music subscription service will be expanded beyond the US for the first time.
Apple is yet to respond to Techworld.
Apple admitted that its iTunes sales have been declining in 2014, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that sales had dropped between 13 per cent and 14 per cent globally.
Meanwhile, Spotify has attracted 50 million active users and 12.5 million paying subscribers.
While an increasing number of people seem to be shunning downloads in favour of services like Spotify, the music streamers have problems of their own.
Taylor Swift pulled her music from Spotify in a dispute over the value of her work.
"I think that people should feel that there is a value to what musicians have created, and that's that," she told Time magazine.
Daniel Ek, Spotify's founder, responded that Spotify had paid $US2 billion to artists and music companies, half of that in the past year.
Earlier this week Spotify announced it was partnering with ride-sharing service Uber to allow passengers to stream their music through their cab's sound system.
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