What made iTunes great in the early years and still is that you can buy single songs. However, that could change some what. Not by much but you can be sure there are going to be those who will be very critical about what Apple may be pushing with the music labels. Apple is looking for exclusive content to prop up sagging album sales. One culprit seems to be the growing streaming services.
Asking for exclusive content is one thing but Apple is also looking at windowing - a period of time between the release of a new album and individual singles for sale. This would allow for more album sales. Furthermore, if this deal is accepted by the studios, we can also see less free content on Youtube and streaming services during this window of time for which Apple wants to promote album sales.
The thing is that Apple may actually get what it wants. In what was probably a trial run, Beyonce released a surprised album exclusively on iTunes and went to sale generate 800,000 album sales in three days with iTunes. Furthermore, there were additional content as well as keeping single sales and free video content off the market until the second week.
Will it work? It depends on how far Apple and the labels take this. If it is only for a few major releases, it could work but it will certainly upset a lot of folks. As someone who isn't into the latest and coolest musical hip-pop sensations, it does not bother me the least. For some, it could be the principle of it all.
I'm not big on windowing singles but I do understand why they are considering it. Furthermore, it is only a week. Meanwhile, I understand file-sharing…ahem…networks are still up and running should people choose to go that route to get their singles fill.