John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

What’s Apple Announcing Tomorrow: A Subscription Service? ITunes in the Cloud?

Apple plans to make an iTunes-related announcement Tuesday at 7 am PT. “Tomorrow is just another day,” a notice on reads. “That you’ll never forget. Check back here tomorrow for an exciting announcement from iTunes.”

Not much to work with there, though one could argue that “Check back here”–i.e., at–suggests a Web-based iTunes Store. That said, “you’ll never forget” would seem to point to an “iTunes Anywhere” subscription service or some cloud-based version of iTunes. Which is what Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster is expecting as well.

“We believe Apple could announce a cloud-based iTunes service for content streaming to connected devices,” he said in a note to clients this morning. “Apple is developing a data center in Maiden, NC that we believe could serve as the hub for such a service. The company has indicated that the data center is on track to be completed by the end of CY10 and it will begin using it then. With Apple’s growing family of connected devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, and Macs) it only makes sense that Apple would deliver a cloud-based media service to leverage its competitive advantage in the space: devices. As part of this, the new Apple TV with limited storage, a lower price, and a focus on accessing content over the internet would fit in nicely. We see this device, and the potential iTunes cloud-based service, as a stepping stone for an all-in-one, connected Apple television.”

Seems a savvy guess to me, particularly since it’s been about a year since Apple bought streaming music outfit Lala and we haven’t yet seen anything come of that acquisition. ‘Course it could also just as easily be iOS 4.2 or the debut of the Beatles catalog on iTunes.

Peter Kafka has a few thoughts on this as well.

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