With rumours abound that Apple plan to close the iTunes store within the next few years, Apple executives have come out in rebuttal of these claims.

Various news sources have reported on claims that iTunes is facing an impending shutdown, stemming from reports by Digital Music News. The articles by DMN cite “sources with close knowledge of the company” who say that Apple plan to ditch music downloads within just a few years, in favour of streaming.

Digital downloads may be dropping but they still make a massive part of the music market, and iTunes is the behemoth of digital music download stores. That’s why Apple executives like senior vice president of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue have flatly denied the claims.

Cue told Billboard:

There’s no end date, and as a matter of fact, [labels and publishers] should all be surprised and thankful to the results that they’re seeing because our music iTunes business is doing very well. Downloads weren’t growing, and certainly are not going to grow again, but it’s not declining anywhere near as fast as any of them predicted or thought it would.

There are a lot of people who download music and are happy with it and they’re not moving towards subscriptions. We talked about subscriptions bringing a lot of new customers in, people who have never bought music. And if you look at Apple’s music revenue on a quarterly basis, because of subscriptions and because of sales, it’s now higher; it’s actually growing, which is great for the labels.

The last time DMN posted that iTunes was dying a rapid death we took a look at the stats and figures that show it just doesn’t make sense for a giant company like Apple to close a revenue-generating store that is massively important to artists, and is hosted online so barely requires upkeep costs. This, alongside Apple spokesperson Tom Neumayr saying that these rumours are “not true” mount up against DMN’s “anonymous sources”.

With the massive rise of music streaming digital downloads are dropping, however it’s nowhere near the point where downloads will be completely dismissed. It’s only been 1 year since Apple launched their music streaming service, and it would require a hell of a lot of confidence to completely replace their staple music store with their new streaming service Apple Music, despite it’s success and imminent update.