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Apple axes long-running 'Single of the Week' iTunes promotion - report

Ten years after giving away its first song, Apple has reportedly wound down the "Single of the Week" program that offered iTunes users a chance to download a free track from up-and-coming artists.

Apple previously updated the Single of the Week every Sunday, and questions about the future of the popular promotion began to circulate after a new single did not appear on the iTunes store earlier this month. One Apple forum member claims to have received confirmation of the campaign's cancellation from iTunes support, a report that was first noted by Business Insider.

If true, it would mark the end of one of Apple's longest-running promotional campaigns. Single of the Week began in August 2004, just over one year after the launch of what was then known as the iTunes Music Store, and was offered in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Brazil, Canada, and Germany.

Though there is no word on why Apple may have taken this action, shakeups in the company's iTunes team could be to blame. Notably, Apple brought in music industry heavyweights Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre with the acquisition of Beats Electronics, a move believed to be at least partially motivated by the need to keep pace with a marketplace that is shifting from music downloads to subscription-based streaming services.

The final single offered in the U.S. was Charlotte OC's Hangover. Customers in the U.K. received Rae Morris's Unguarded, while Canadian music fans could choose from Avicii's New Year's Eve Mix or Les Tireux d'Roches's Snowbird.