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Apple's iTunes subscription music service unlikely to debut at March 9th event

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Not that we were expecting it, but 9to5Mac is reporting that Apple's premium iTunes streaming service will be a no show at Monday's "Spring forward" event in San Francisco. When it eventually launches, the subscription service will essentially be a do-over of Beats Music — this time under the iTunes brand and built directly into iOS. 9to5Mac says Apple's annual WWDC keynote is the most likely venue for an unveiling of the product. The new streaming music service could come as part of an iOS 8 software update later this summer, though it could also be positioned as one of the main (and few) big new features of iOS 9.

See you this summer

The iOS 9 option seems a bit more likely since, from the sounds of it, development of the new iTunes service has been anything but a smooth process. 9to5Mac reports that some original Beats Music executives have already departed Apple, and the company is said to be struggling in building its first ever Android application. Some of the Android-focused developers that Apple initially brought on for the music project have also left Cupertino, and recent job postings make it clear the company is hunting for engineers with Android expertise. The 9to5Mac report says Apple could price its Spotify rival at $7.99 per month, undercutting the leading subscription service by $2. For now, Beats Music remains operating as usual, though the arduous wait for what's next can't be doing any favors for its subscriber count.