Apple beats music iTunes
Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine (far left) and Dr. Dre (second right) with Apple CEO Tim Cook (second left) and Apple vice president Eddy Cue announcing the $3bn acquisition of Beats.Apple

Apple has denied reports that it plans to shut down Beats Music, four months after acquiring the streaming service for $3bn (£1.8bn, €2.3bn).

Tech Crunch first reported that the Cupertino company was going to discontinue Beats Music, citing five sources that included "several prominent employees at Apple and Beats".

Apple has since responded to these claims by stating that the report "is not true", though no further explanation has been given.

Apple is yet to respond to a request for comment from IBTimes UK.

Industry analysts have speculated what the company actually plans for the streaming service, with some Wall Street experts suggesting that it will eventually be incorporated into Apple's iTunes.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has previously said that "music has always been at the heart of Apple", emphasising this point with the recent giveaway of U2's latest album at the launch of the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and the Apple Watch.

At the same launch event, little attention was given to Beats Electronics or Beats Music and there has been no mention of any plans for a Beats Music app.

It is estimated that Beats Music has around 250,000 paying subscribers, each paying $10/month. The idea that Apple would absorb these users into its iTunes service would be consistent with previous acquisitions, such as Embark and HopStop.

"We always are future-focussed," Cook said, rather cryptically, around the time of the Beats acquisition. "So it's not what Apple and Beats are doing today. It's what we believe pairing the two together can produce for the future."