Apple already killed iTunes back in 2019. But on Monday, the company moved closer to phasing out the iTunes name completely.
The company unveiled a new interface for its Apple TV app, found on the iPhone and iPad, as well as through a tvOS update for its Apple TV streaming box. Buried at the end of the press release was a short note saying that it would redirect users from its various iTunes stores on the Apple TV box, iPhone, and iPad to Apple TV.
The short note signals Apple finally getting rid of two of the last vestiges of iTunes. The original iTunes, which launched in 2001, was revolutionary in its ability to rip CDs and store music, and then later purchase tracks, accelerating the industry’s embrace of digital. It was simultaneously loved and hated — the more latter as it grew bloated over the years. But for many, it was a central hub for your media. Apple phased out iTunes as we knew it with the release of macOS Catalina in 2019, breaking out the different types of media into their own apps.
The iTunes name, however, remained alive in various apps found on Apple hardware. You could still purchase music via the iTunes Store, even though you managed your library in Apple Music. It was also where you could purchase movies and TV shows. The Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD boxes each had separate iTunes Movies and iTunes Shows apps.
But starting today, messages within the iTunes Store app appeared, saying iTunes TV Shows is moving, and bidding users to try out the new Apple TV app. Going forward, that’s where people will be able to purchase, store, and watch their shows and movies. Likewise, the same messages are appearing for users with an Apple TV streaming box who are checking out the iTunes Movies or Shows apps.
Apple said the move isn’t a complete sunset of the iTunes Store, since you’ll still be able to purchase music from that app on iPhones and iPads. But given how much attention Apple Music has, and the tendency for people to subscribe to music streaming services vs. buying individual tracks, the future of the iTunes name is unclear.