Too often, journalists chase pageviews at the expense of accuracy. As much as we too love a scoop or great headline, resisting the temptation to bend the truth, print unconfirmed rumors or make unsubstantiated allegations, is essential for any outlet striving to a trusted source.
Yesterday, the music industry's version of the National Enquirer, Digital Music News, reported that "Apple is now preparing to completely terminate music download offerings on the iTunes Store, with an aggressive, two-year termination timetable actively being considered and gaining favor."
Most of the digital press piled on. We resisted, not just because we've seen DMN repeatedly get the facts wrong, but also because the story just didn't make sense. Did somebody at Apple ask in a meeting how long, in a world rushing toward music streaming, would the iTunes download store be viable? Maybe; Was a timetable for closing it seriously discussed? Never.
Whole product categories do not just die. CDs did not entirely replace vinyl; and while streaming is causing a decline in download sales, some people still buy CDs. You can even still buy cassette tapes. That most products live forever is particularly true in the digital realm, which eliminates manufacturing and distribution costs.
Apple Responds, But Not To The Source
Normally, Apple would have issued their denial directly to the source of the incorrect story. But in this case they likely feared the resulting headline:
Steve Jobs Rolls Over In Grave,
As Apple Plots iTunes Closure Cover-Up